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K()d Scrlings 

JUNE 1983 / $2.50 





S • M 14369 






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C O N T' E N T S 

FICTION May /June 1983 

The Raft 

Stephen King 


In the Field of the Dying Cherry Tree 

Curtis K. Stadtfeld 


Harry's Story 

Robert H. Curtis 


The Tuck at the Foot of the Bed 

Ardath Mayhar 


A Fragment of Fact 

Chris Massie 


Takeover Bid 

Andrew Weiner 



Joe R. Lansdale 



In the Twilight Zone 


TZ Interview: V. C. Andrews 

Lorenzo Carcaterra 


Screen Preview: TZ's Triple Bill 

'Something Wicked This Way Comes' 

Ed Naha 


'Psycho ir * 

James Vemiere 


'The Keep' 

James Vemiere 


Confessions of a Freelance Fantasist: Part One 

Isidore Haiblum 


The Fantasy Five-Foot Shelf Thomas M. Disch, R. S. Hadji, 

Karl Edward Wagner 


Show-by-Show Guide to TV's 'Twilight Zone': Part Twenty-Four 

Marc Scott Zicree 


TZ Classic Teleplay: 'The Lonely' 

Rod Serling 




Thomas M. Disch 



Gahan Wilson 


Music: Bernard Herrmann 

Jack Sullivan 


Nostalgia: Walking with Zombies and Other Saturday Afternoon Delights 

Ron Goulart 


Quiz: Fantasy Acrostic §1 

Peter Cannon 




4 Twilight Zone 

Photo credits: Disch/RIchord Sutor; Haiblum/Stuort Silver; King/© 1982 Laurel-Show, Inc; Verniere/David Johnston Wagner/Carl Miles 

fever ... 

Psycho is, as we all know, the 
movie that made millions of 
Americans afraid to take a shower 
(having been forced to hear this over 
and over for the past twenty years, 
Robert Bloch was finally driven to 
remark, "I'm just glad I didn't have 
my heroine killed while on the 
toilet!"), but .the movie had, on me, 
a different effect: it gave me an 
almost superstitious awe of 

It wasn't the movie itself that got 
to me; I was unimpressed by that 
improbable Hollywood shrink who 
shows up at the end of the film just 
in time to tie up the loose plot 
threads. Rather, what caught my 
fancy was a real-life psychiatrist — a 
family friend we'll call Joan — who 
happened to come along when m^ 
parents and I first saw Psycho back 
in 1960, a few days after it opened. 
The shower scene had just ended, I 
recall; the amateur taxidermist, 
Norman Bates, was staring horror- 
struck at the carnage in the bathroom 
and moaning, "Oh, Mother!" And 
suddenly Joan clapped her hand to 
her head and exclaimed, in a voice 
loud enough for people in the next 
row to hear, "My God! He's killed 
his mother and he thinks he's her!" 

We all greeted this crazy, off-the- 
wall comment with the derision it 
deserved; set, no doubt, did the 
people in the next row. And soon 
afterward Joan agreed that she must 
have been mistaken, since the voice 
of Norman's unseen mother was so 
clearly different from that of Anthony 
Perkins. (Recently I've heard reports 
that the mother's voice was, in fact, 
dubbed by someone else — which, if 
true, is rather a cheat.) 

But of course, in the end, Joan 
turned out to be right. We were all 
extremely respectful. Later, when I 
congratulated her on her insight, she 
denied it was anything special. "Sheer 
luck," she said. 

Readers will soon be able to test 
their own insight — or luck — by 
attempting to guess the ending of 
previews it on page 53, was kept 
unusually busy this time, interviewing 
Anthony Perkins and director Richard 
Franklin, as well as Michael Mann, 
who directed The Keep, and Aussie 

star Mel Gibson of Road Warrior 
fame. (Don't miss that one!) 

ED NAHA, who covers Something 
Wicked for us here, has also kept 
busy lately, with two more books 
just out: The Suicide Plague, an sf 
novel, and Brilliance on a Budget, an 
illustrated filmography of Roger 

Sheer luck of the fateful kind 
seems to have played a role in the 
publication of STEPHEN KING'S The 
Raft, though the result, for readers, is 
sheer horror. The original story dates 
back to the 1960s, to a day King 
spent lying on the beach, gazing at a 
wooden float out in the water and 
imagining — well, there's no sense 
giving things away. Suffice it to say 
that he conjured up a truly stomach- 
churning scene, one that ends with a 
class ring lying forlornly on the 
wooden boards. 

King wrote it all down and tried 
it on an audience. "I remember 
reading the story at a coffee house," 
he says, "and having people almost 
throw up." Clearly it was a success. 
He entitled it "The Float" and sent it 
off to Adam, a men's magazine. 

Months passed, then a whole 
year, and eventually the story was 
forgotten . . . until the day King - 
found himself arrested. "I was driving 
on the highway and I ran over one 
of those rubber traffic cones," he 
explains. "It knocked my muffler 
loose." And so, being a man with a 
grievance, he did the natural thing: 
he proceeded to scoop up every cone 
he passed, gradually filling his car 
with them. (He says that at another 
time in his criminal career he'd 
amassed "sixty or seventy" such 
cones. As someone who, like King, 

taught high scho(3l English in Maine 
during the 1960s and spent hours 
traveling its big empty highways, I 
can attest to the strange allure of 
those cones, and admit to grabbing 
one or two myself.) King was 
eventually picked up by the police, 
found guilty of petty larceny, and 
fined $250 — which, at that time, he 
didn't have. "1 tfiought I'd be forced 
to sell the car," he recalls. But when 
he got home that day, his wife 
Tabitha greeted him with the news 
that a check had just arrived in the 
mail. It was from Adam, in payment 
for "The Float," and it came to 
exactly $250. "So all I did was cash 
the check and pay the fine," he says. 

There's an odd postscript to all 
this. Adam, King is sure, paid only 
on publication, not on acceptance; 
and yet he's equally sure that the 
story never actually came out — at 
least not that he's ever heard of. 
Instead, more than a decade later he 
reworked the piei:e, retitled it The 
Raft, and sold it to Gallery, 

TZ's — what should I call it? — sister 
magazine? Big brother? Daddy? At 
any rate, it appe.ired ip Gallery's 
November '82 issue. We're reprinting 
it here on the assumption (based on 
demographic studies) that the two 
audiences don't overlap very much, 
and in the certainty that the story is 
more suited to our own readership. 
Be warned, though: Rod Serling 
would never have touched it for The 
Twilight Zone. It's far too savage for 
the tube. 

That's why, for balance. I've 
stocked this issue with tales that are 
light, whimsical, or at least 
reasonably serene. A roster of our 
authors: ROBERT H. CURTIS, a 

6 Twilight Zone 

former physician, now lectures at 
Stanford University's School of 
Medicine and has five popular 
medical books behind him, plus a 
string of mystery and science fiction 
stories. JOE R. LANSDALE, that 
prolific Texan, is making his fifth TZ 
appearance. Having psychoanalyzed 
Frankenstein's monster in our 
Jan. /Feb. issue, he's now back with 
an even crazier couch case. CHRIS 
MASSIE, who died in 1964 at age 
eighty-five, was a British novelist best 
known for Hallelujah Chorus 
(published here as The Falcon Road) 
and Corridor of Mirrors, filmed in 
the 1940s. His A Fragment of Fact, a 
tale both inexplicable (in the Robert 
Aickman manner) and charming, 
appeared in a Faber & Faber 
collection in England and has been 
reprinted there, but this is the first 
time, to my knowledge, that it's 
appeared in the U.S. ARDATH 
MAYHAR, a widely published 
fantasist, is a youthful grandmother 
who raises cattle, goats, and rabbits 
down in Chireno, Texas. Among her 
most recent projects: continuing the 
"Fuzzy" series (using characters 
created by the late H. Beam Piper) in 
Golden Dream from Ace. CURTIS K. 
STADTFELD teaches English at 
Eastern Michigan University and runs 
the Clinton Local, a weekly 
newspaper. His stories have appeared 
in Yankee, Ms., and Family Circle. 
ANDREW WEINER, a London-born 
freelance journalist now living in 
Toronto, has written for magazines 
from Reader's Digest to New Musical 
Express and on subjects ranging from 
rock to high financit. LORENZO 
CARCATERRA, wfio conducted the 
interview with V. C Andrews, is a 

former New York Daily News 
reporter. He recently moved to Time 
Inc.'s new magazine, TV-Cable Week. 

With this issue we're beginning a 
three-part series by ISIDORE 
HAIBLUM in which the author of 
such sf novels as The Return, 
Interworld, Nightmare Express, and 
The Tsaddik of the Seven Wonders — 
some hard-boiled, some slapstick, 
each lively as all get-out — casts a 
jaundiced (but still determinedly 
twinkling) eye on his own career and 
tells you how to follow in his 
footsteps ... if you dare. 

Finally come our list-makers, 
three of the best-read people I know. 
There's our book columnist, 

THOMAS M. DISCH, hailed by a 
British reviewer as "the finest intellect 
in science fiction today." Most recent 
collections: The Man Who Had No 
Idea (stories) and Bum This (poems). 
There's psychiatrist-turned-fantasist 
whether in his own Kane series or in 
his continuation of Robert E. 

Howard's Conan — of the most 
intelligent sword and sorcery you'll 
find today. (He's also a give-'em-their- 
money's-worth fantasy publisher and 
the editor of DAW's Year's Best 
Horror stories.) Finally, there's R. S. 
HADJI, totally sui generis, who 
describes himself as merely "an avid 
reader and collector of supernatural 
literature" and insists he leads "a 
rather ordinary existence in Toronto," 
but who has, in fact, a mind like the 
card catalogue of a well-stocked ^ 
library of the weird. He's read 
everything and remembers every 
word; would that we all could do 

— TK 




S. Edward Orenstein 
President & Chairman 
Sidney Z. Gellman 
Secretary/ Treasurer 
Leon Garry 
Eric Protter 

Executive Vice-Presidents 

Executive Publisher: 

S. Edward Orenstein 
Publisher: Eric Protter 
Associate Publisher and 
Consulting Editor: Carol Serling 

Editor: T.E.D. Klein 
Managing Editor: Jane Bayer 
Associate Editor: RTobert Sabat 
Contributing Editors: 

Thomas M. Disch, Gahan Wilson, 

Marc Scott Zicree 

Design Director: Michael Monte 
Art Director: Pat E. McQueen 
Art Production: 

Susan Lindeman, Carol Sun. 
Typesetting: Irma Landazuri 

Production Director: 

Stephen J. Fallon 

Controller: Thomas Schiff 
Ass't to the Publisher: Judy Linden 
Public Relations Manager.: 

Jeffrey Nickora 

Accounting Mgr.: Chris Grossman 
Acccjpnting Ass't: Annmarie Pistilli 
Office Ass't: Miriam Wolf 
Vice President, Circulation Director: 
Milton J. Cuevas 

Circulation Mgr.: Carole A. Harley 
Circulation Ass't: Karen Martorano 
Eastern Circ. Mgr.: Hank Rosen 
West Coast Circ. Mgr.: 

Gary Judy, Van Nuys, CA 

Advertising Manager: Rachel Britapaja 
Adv. Production Manager: 

Marina Despotakis 
Adv. Ass't: Katherine Lys 
Advertising Representative: 

Bob LaBuddie, 2640 Golf Rd., Suite 
219 Glenview, IL 60025 (312) 724-5490 

Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine, 1983, Volume 3, 
Number 2, is publishecf bimonthly in the United Slates and 
simultaneously in Canada by TZ Publications, Inc., BOO 
Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017. Telephone (212) 
986-9600. Copyright © 1983 by TZ Publications, Inc. Rod 
Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine is published pursuant 
to a license from Carolyn Serling and Viacom Enterprises, a 
division of Viacom International, Inc. All rights reserved. 
Second-class postage paid at New York, NY, and at addi- 
tional mailing offices. Responsibility is not assumed for 
unsolicited materials. Return postage must accompany all 
unsolicited material if return is requested. All rights reserved 
on material accepted for publication unless otherwise 
specified. All letters sent to Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone 
Magazine or to its editors are assumed intended for publica- 
tion. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part with- 
out written permission from the publishers. Any similarity 
between persons appearing in fiction and real persons living 
or dead is coincidental. Single copies $2.50 in U.S., $3 in 
Canada. Subscriptions: U.S., U.S. possessions, Canada, and 
APO — one year, 6 issues: $15 ($18 in Canadian currency). 
Postmaster: Send address changes to P.O. Box 252, Mt. 
Morris, 11 61054. Printed in U.S. A. 

Twilight Zone 7 

Illustration © 1983 Thomas M. Disch 

M E N S I O N S 


There has been increasingly 
louder lamentation in the publishing 
industry during the last few years 
over the fate of what is 
, euphemistically called mid-list fictton, 
by which is meant novels not likely 
to become bestsellers. Most fiction of 
any quality nowadays falls into this 
mid-list category, as witness the now 
virtually total disparity between the 
books the New York Times Book 
Review commends to our attention 
and those that fill its hardcover and 
paperback bestseller lists. The most 
dire consequence of this schispi is that 
paperback houses are simply refusing 
to reprint mid-list titles, even when a 
majority of reviewers has written rave 
reviews. This attitude was pithily 
expressed at a recent PEN symposium 
by Robert Wyatt, then chief editor of 
Avon Books: "You should know that 
in the paperback business, quotes 
don't mean diddly-shit." 

The industry, Wyatt maintains, is 
interested in reprinting only two kinds 
of books, bestsellers and category 
books. "By a category book," Wyatt 
said, "I mean something lower . . . 

The wholesaler says, 'Give me your 
Westerns. Give me your science 
fiction . . . ' He really would rather 
have the series number than the title 
or the author." (Wyatt's quotes are 
taken from a transcript of the 
Publishing Industry Symposium 
published in PEN Newsletter. This 
transcript is reprinted in the current 
issue of The Patchin Review [$2.00 at 
most sf book stores], together with 
comments and reactions from various 
sf writers.) 

The more sensitive sf writers and 
readers may take umbrage at having 
8 Twilight Zone 

the genre summed up as "something 
lower," but there is a dollop of cold 
comfort in still being considered 
publishable. However, the same tiered 
structure of bestseller/ mid- 
list/ Something Lower exists within the 
field of sf, where it is producing the 
same squeeze on mid-list titles. 

Consider the sf titles now on the 
Times list. There is The E. T. 
Storybook, titles by Clarke and 
Asimov (having reviewed them 
elsewhere, I won't rehash my 
dissatisfaction with Foundation's Edge 
and 2010 except to say I found the 
plots of both books numbingly , 
predictable and the wattage of the 
prose varying between 60 and 15), a 
prehistoric bodice-ripper, and a new 
potpourri of toothless whimsies by 
Douglas Adams. A sorry lot, but no 
sorrier, in literary terms, than the rest 
of the list, which this week (Jan. 9, 
1983) contained not a single title 
remotely conceivable as a candidate 
for the major literary awards. 

Meanwhile, in the realm of 
Something Lower, where books are 
but numbers in a series, the hacks 
grind out and the presses print the sf 
equivalent of Silhouette Romances. 

The sheer mass of Perry Rhodan 
lookalikes and fantasy-gaming 
disguised as books is awesome in 
much the same way that Niagara Falls 
is awesome: there is so much of it 
and it never stops. The metaphor 
needn't stop there: it is, similarly, not 
very potable, and most of it courses 
through the paperback racks without 
ever being reviewed. Why should it 
be, after all? Are sneakers or soft 
drinks or matchbooks reviewed? 
Commodities are made to be 

consumed, and surely it is an 
unkindness for those favored by 
fortune with steak in plenty to be 
disdainful of the "taste" of people 
who must make do with Hamburger 

Surely: except that we live in a 
world where steak;, in the literary 
sense, is being ph.jsed out of 
existence. The same megatrends that 
are endangering mid-list titles in 
fiction at large (conglomerate 
takeovers, accountants in the saddle, 
declining reading ;;kills among the 
young, and a tacit understanding 
among those in charge of the 
economy that an educated consumer 
is bad for busines:?) aren't likely to 
exempt the sf mid-list from the same 
promised extinction. Or, in the 
concluding words of that sad captain 
of the publishing industry, Robert 
Wyatt, the prospect for writers of 
mid-list novels is "extremely 
depressing." It is a comfort to see 
tears glisten even in the eye of one's 

All this preamble by way of 
celebrating three new novels, each of 
which is a work of enough distinction 
to merit a column by itself. Each is 
written with an ardor, flair, and 
demand upon readerly intelligence that 
would seem to de;;tine it to a mid-list 
existence, and, that demand being 
met, each is a joy to read. 

Book by book, that's saying a 
lot, but stacked up all three together, 
it seems reason to rebel against the 
gloomiest doomsday forebodings of 
the PEN symposiasts. Which is not to 
say that Hamburger Helper shall 
disappear from the American diet and 
we shall all eat steak in the great by- 
and-by. Only that a preference for 
steak is innate in human nature, and 
while there are people with strong 
teeth and sound digestions there will 
be butcher shops. Or (as that may 
offend vegetarian readers): gather ye 
rosebuds while ye may. 

At the present moment the most 
reliable butcher shop (or florist), 
science fictionally ispeaking, is 
Timescape Books, which has published 
two of the three books under 
consideration — Gene Wolfe's The 
Citadel of the Autarch ($15.95) and 
Norman Spinrad's The Void Captain's 
Tale ($13.95). 

Citadel is the fourth (though not 
quite conclusive) volume in Wolfe's 


tetralogy. The Book of the New Sun, 
whose popular success has confounded 
all conventional wisdom, both the 
Industry's and my own. The Shadow 
of the Torturer won a World Fantasy 
Award, The Claw of the Conciliator a 
Nebula, and last year s The Sword of 
the Lictor is the likeliest mammalian 
contender in a field liable to be 
dominated by four dinosaurs — Clarke, 
Asimov, Heinlein, and Hubbard. Now 
we have Citadel, and it is possible to 
take a deep breath and try, if not to 
achieve closure, at least to figure out 
what really happens and what it all 

For rarely has there been a work 
of genre fiction in which the import 
of the story is so elusive, to say 
nothing of the bare facts. Such was 
its appeal to the literary detective in 
me that halfway through this last 
volume I could resist no longer and 
phoned up my old friend and fellow 
Wolfe-enthusiast, John Clute, to 
suggest that we not wait the dozen or 
so years that even a masterpiece is 
supposed to age in the cask but set 
about at once to edit a volume of 
interpretive essays, supplemented with 
a glossary and other suitable rites of 
scholarship. John said, "Good idea," 
and immediately began to jot down 
some questions that remained moot 
after his first reading of the four 
volumes, but still seemed answerable. 
As a sample of the fascination of The 
Book of the New Sun, I can't resist 
quoting (with his permission) from 
John's list of conundrums: 

" — Who is the woman lying 
bleeding beneath the Matachin Tower 
whom Severian almost forgets? 

" — Just how is an Autarch 
actually chosen? And who is Paeon? 

" — Are all the khaibits in the 
novel identified as such? And just 
how do exultants prolong their lives? 

" — Is Cyriaca S's mother?" (After 
more reflection, John concluded that 
Cyriaca was not Severian's mother, 
and he developed an ingenious theory 
of who, amazingly, his mother might 
be, which I'm sworn not to hint at 
here, as John's entitled to dibs for his 

Do you begin to sense what very 
odd books these must be that they 
can leave such questions in the air 
and still generate such applause and 
loyalty? Of the four volumes Citadel 
is surely the oddest, for it is almost 
perversely anticlimactic in its denial of 
those pleasures usually associated with 
finishing a long epic narrative; there 
are no confrontation scenes between 
Severian and the many major 
characters from the earlier volumes 
(no accounting, indeed, for many of 
them), no poetic justice for the 
villains, no coronal ceremonies for the 
triumphant hero. The last eight 
chapters, which show Severian as 
Autarch, are one long dying fall, as 
though no music would suit the rites 
of passage to ethical maturity (for this 
is what the allegory is allegorizing; 
that much at least is clear) save the 
muffled drumbeats of a funeral march. 

I realize this is not the stuff that 
blurb-writers' dreams are made of, but 
most sf readers by now will already 
have begun to read The Book of the 
New Sun and will know their own 
taste in the matter. Nor can I imagine 
that any reader of the first three 
volumes could be prevented from 
continuing to the end. At this 
moment the whole tetralogy seems 
simply too large for ordinary critical 
epithets to apply; one might as well 
scrawl "pretty damned big!" on the 
Great Pyramid. 

Temperamentally no two authors 
could be more unlike than Gene 
Wolfe and Norman Spinrad, and few 
novels could be more disparate in 
their achievement than The Book of 
the New Sun and The Void Captain's 
Tale. Wolfe is decorous, devious, 
sacerdotal; one suspects that, like T. 

S. Eliot, he is an Anglican in his 

religion, a monarchist in his politics. 
Spinrad is brash, forthright, profane; 
his intellectual allegiances hark back 
not centuries but a mere twenty-five 
years to the late fifties, when 
Spinrad's namesake and role-model, 
Norman Mailer, was in flower. 

Mailer's chief significance- to 
writer^ of my own and Norman's 
generation can be bounded in the 
nutshells of two powerful stories from 
Advertisements for Myself (1959), 

"The Man Who Studied Yoga" and 
"The Time of Her Time." In those 
stories Mailer found a new way to 
turn to account the sexual explicitness 
that recent court decisions had made 
possible for American writers. Prior to 
Mailer, writing about sex tended to 
fall into two categories — the steamy (a 
tradition carried on in our time by 
Judith Krantz, Harold Robbins, et al) 
and the risque, a category broad 
enough to subsume centuries of 
bawdry from Rabelais to the joke 
pages of Playboy. Both modes tend to 
trivialize sex and deny its sometime 
sublimity. Mailer found a language 
that was street-wise without being 
loutish, eloquent without gushing, a 
language more true to sexual 
experience than any of his 

Norman Spinrad was the first sf 
writer to apply the lessons of Mailer 
to the material of science fiction, and 
he was rewarded for his achievement 
by having the book in which he did 
this, Bug Jack Barron (1969), banned 
from England's largest bookstore chain 


Twilight Zone 9 


and denounced in the House of 
Commons. Spinrad has written seven 
novels since then, only one of which 
departs markedly from a Mailerean 
rhetoric. The lone exception is the 
delightfully bonkers The Iron Dream 
(1972), which purports to be an sf 
pulp adventure penned by Adolf 
Hitler. In the other novels (excepting 
the latest), Spinrad was up against the 
same problem that so often baffled 
Mailer in his later fiction: the voice 
he'd crafted for his breakthrough 
work did not always suit later 
occasions. A World Between (1979), 
an effort to confront the issues raised 
by feminism, seemed to me as 
tendentious and off-target as Mailer's 
The Prisoner of Sex, while Songs 
from the Stars (1980) created a post- 
Apocalyptic utopia from (laid- back- 
issues of the Whole Earth Catalogue 
that shared the problem of most 
utopias: blandness. The Void ^ 
Captain's Tale represents a new 
synthesis of Spinrad's main strengths. 
The earnestness of the metasexual 
theorizer is qualified by the irony and 
livened by the playfulness that has 
characterized The Iron Dream and his 
best short fiction. 

The central premise could not be 
simpler: interstellar flight by means of 
electronically amplified orgasm. Only 
female orgasm, however, acts as 
propellant; the male role is the 
honorific one of pressing the takeoff 
button — and therein lies The Void 
Captain’s Tale. The reductio ad 
absurdum of the old metaphor/ 
equation. Orgasm = Grail, is 
elaborated in great extrapolative 
detail, but the central sexual drama 
would soon come to seem an 
absurdity plain and simple if Spinrad 
had not cast his tale into an evolved 
lingo of his own invention, a kind of 
Berlitz for Space Travelers that 
generates an atmosphere of constant, 
ever-shifting unnaturalness. It is a 
langugage as capable of flights of 
eloquence as of pratfalls of 
pomposity. The effect of reading 
much of it, as with the neo-English of 
A Clockwork Orange or Riddley 
Walker, is that as we learn the 
language we enter the culture of the 
book, becoming, in effect, its 
naturalized citizens. The comparison 
to Burgess's and Walker's books can 
be misleading in one way, however, 
for the effect of the Spinradical sprach 
is not so much to make commonplace 



ii — OFTHE^ - ! 



speech richer, stranger, and more 
poetic, but to signify the artifice of all 
social conventions, to be symptomatic 
of the central thesis of the book — that 
the sexual grail is something that 
words, in their nature, cannot express. 

The Birth of the People's Republic 
of Antarctica by John Calvin 
Batchelor (Dial, $16.95) is not 
published as a science fiction novel, 
but as a "novel of the imminent 
future." Usually I would argue that 
any story set in the future is by its 
nature science fiction, but Batchelor's 
muse harks back to far older 
traditions, as far back, indeed, as 
Beowulf, though Moby Dick is 
probably a more apt formal 
comparison. There is the same potent 
mix of epic adventure and lofty 
speculation acted out by larger-than- 
life figures against a background of 
global dimensions — in this case, a near 
future crisis that has filled the oceans 
of the world with a multinational 
diaspora of supremely wretched men 
and women. (That's a quote from the 
book jacket, but I don't think it's 
cheating to repeat it, since it was a 
quote I wrote.) The book chronicles a 
Swedish prison break led by the 
hero's Ahab-large grandfather; a 
voyage ever-Southwards through an 
Atlantic as dismal as the oceans of 
Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon 
Pym; then, with uncanny prescience 
(for this was written and contracted 
before the actual British-Argentine 
war), Batchelor depicts a war in the 

Falkland Islands, which leads to the 
book's awesome conclusion in the "ice 
camps " of Antarctica. Here is a 
sample of the author's summing-up of 
the situation in Chapter the Last: 

The wretched in the South, we 
wretches, we were not all innocent 
victims of some fabulous conspiracy to 
disenfranchise lambs. . . . We , , . 
were the worst piossible remnant. The 
genuine meek, ttie genuinely wronged, 
they had been left far behind, dead in 
their hovels, on tlie beaches, in the sea. 
We in the ice camps had come 
through our ordeals because we were 
tougher, wilder, c:rueler than our 
brethren. We were the lucky remnant. 
We were the mC'St vicious wretched: 
pirates, killers, thieves, madmen, lost to 
reason and utterly embittered. As we 
suffered atrocities, we were atrocious. 

. . , We did drink the blood. We did 
eat the dead. 

Batchelor manages to make good 
on his promise of the highest and 
widest drama precisely because he 
keeps a certain distance from his cast 
of high-voltage characters and handles 
their passions, crimes, and ordeals 
with electrician's gloves. He 
anatomizes them, as a historian might, 
rather than presenting them always in 
cinematically detailed scenes. The 
danger with this technique is that a 
certain chill may set in (though it's 
scarcely a danger in this book) or that 
the prose may be infected with the 
language of contemporary psychology, 
a sorry fate for any novel. Again, 
that danger nev(!r threatens, since 
Batchelor took his degree at Union 
Theological Seminary, and the 
language he uses in his anatomies of 
the soul is as timeless as the King * 
James Bible's or Dr. Johnson's. 

So there you have it — the 
bulwark I'd propose against 
the demise that's threatened to the 
mid-list novel — to, that is, novels that 
take risks and enhance rather than 
insult the intelligence. As unlike each 
other, one by one, as most 
commodity-novels are alike. While 
there are writers to write such books, 
it is the publisheirs who deliberately 
publish and promote dreck who 
should find their lot, in Wyatt's 
words, "extremely depressing," for 
they must endure the Dantean 
punishment of living in the stench of 
the product they produce. 18 

10 Twilight Zone 

Illustration © 1983 Gahan Wilson 

O T 






I O 




Written and directed 
by David Cronenberg 

The Dark Crystal 

Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz 
Screenplay by David Odell 

Time was when the expert 
filmmakers in the fantasy field leaned 
heavily on suggestion for getting the 
best effects. Don't show your marvel 
too clearly — that was their 
philosophy. Take your time with the 
build-up. Bring it into sight as late as 
possible, revealing it only after the 
audience has been thoroughly 
prepared for the wonder they're about 
to see, only after they've been 
emotionally softened by as many 
psychological tricks as can tastefully 
be brought to bear. And even then, 
even after all that, don't show your 
horrible creature or astonishing 
machine too clearly. Shoot it in a dim 
light. Let the audience see only parts 
of it from confusing angles and, if at 
all possible, give them only the 
briefest glimpses of your incredible 

Boris Karloff, dear old Boris 
Karloff, said it all in a phrase when 
Christopher Lee expressed nervous 
doubt to him about his own ability to 
demonstrate the full awfulness of 
some terrible being he was trying to 
create for the ticket-buyers. Smiling 
kindly, if in a subtly sinister manner, 
Karloff laid a thin, vaguely clawlike 


by Gahan Wilson 

It is not our fault that we have 
become thus. It is clearly the fault of 
the moviemakers. It is they who have 
turned off our willingness to imagine 
freely, they who have reduced our 
ability to expand and develop from 
mere hints. They have converted us 
all into a troupe of viewers who must 
have absolutely everything spelled out 
before we can believe, or even 
understand, what the producers of the 
film are asking us to believe. They 
did it step by step, showing us more 
and more. The sexual movies, which 
once had panned demurely away from 
the loving leads just as they began to 
breathe heavily, now feature de 
rigueur shots of bare-ass humping, 
without which even Little Women 

hand on Lee's shoulder and gently 
whispered: "Never worry on that 
score, dear boy. The audience will do 
it for you." 

But that was Time Was. Time is 
that we are no longer a nation of 
dreamy, creative moviegoers, willing 
and able to take the tiny peek Val 
Lewton gave us of Simone Simon 
turning darkish and to skillfully 
convert it, inside our heads, into the 
full transformation of a Serbian 
beauty into one of the Cat People.- 
Nor, today, will we accept without 
question, just in the spirit of the 
thing, a Fourth-of-July-sparkler-driven 
interstellar rocket. We have become a 
different sort of crew altogether. No 
longer do we approach the movie 
theater with a sense of poetic 
participation, eager to share in the 
creative act. Now we are stern 
literalists who must be shown our 
marvels and horrors, clearly and in 
great detail. 

would today be incomplete. So, too, 
the purveyors of filmic ogres and 
angels have gone steadily and 
determinedly from soft-focused, dimly 
lit evocations, to gentlemen and ladies 
in increasingly elaborate and detailed 
makeup, and on to a science of 
special effects wliich will go to any 
length of effort, ingenuity, and 
expense in order to show us 
absolutely everything about absolutely 
anything the fevered script describes. 

Two films have recently arrived 
which were obviously designed to 
illustrate the above thesis from 
cleverly divergent angles. The first is 
David Cronenberg's Videodrome, the 
second Jim Henson and Frank Oz's 
The Dark Crystal. 

Videodrome is the strongest 
statement I have seen yet of 
Cronenberg's disgust with biological 
processes and his deep fascination 
with the purity of technology. 1 think 
what he is doing, certainly in l 

Scanners and in this film, is opting 
for a kind of electronic evolution 
which will, he hopes, eliminate the 
homo sapiens, a bunch he views with 
less than affection, and replace them 
with something which functions 
without glands or having to go to 
the toilet. 

However, I think he is somewhat 
confused about all this, and somewhat 
unsure. From all reports he is a loving 
family man, has many loyal friends, 
and is generally — for a movie director, 
at least — a perfectly fine fellow; and 
all this comes through as a kind of 

Videodrome, for instance, seems 
decidedly pro-human at first, even 

12 Twilight Zone 

movie progresses, and our tv producer 
suffers ever more dire symptoms from 
his now near-total dependence on his 
favorite show. Try and imagine, for 
example, what would happen if, 
right now, in the comfort of your 
armchair, your solar plexus 
conveniently opened up and you 
were able to slip your arm into your 
bowels up to your elbow. What 
would your hand look like when it 
emerged? Covered with slimy gick? 
Sure. Dripping goo? Of course. But 
really, what's the point of imagining? 
Face it, the movie does much better 
than you possibly could. 

Of course, by now we are all 
shaking our heads like sixty, we and 
Cronenberg. What awful stuff all this 
tv watching has done to our antihero! 

And how cynical everyone who works 
in the industry must be. And what 
about this decadent genius — a 
character called "Professor Brian 
O'Blivion," reportedly inspired by 
Marshall McLuhan — who honestly 
believes, among other patently 
immoral things, that appearing on tv 
talk shows is the same as being alive, 
if not better? What are we to make of 
all these awful influences? Land sakes, 
if we know what's good for us we'll 
unplug all our sets and give them to 
the Salvation Army for tax credit. 

But wait — what's this 
Cronenberg's saying toward the end 
of the movie? Why do we find our 
heads shaking slower and slower? Is it 
possible we are to approve of 
Professor O'Blivion after all? That he 
may be, like McLuhan, something of 
a smartass, but that he really is, deep 
down inside, a sweetie with a heart of 
gold and that he's doing all these 
disturbing things for our own good? 
Yes, unless I have misviewed 
Videodrome badly: Cronenberg does 
want us to believe just that. 

Well, okay, 1 can go along with 
it. Not agree with it, perhaps, but 
accept it without difficulty as a sort 
of tricky propaganda device. God 
knov^s, propaganda's a grand, 
traditional use of the medium. Often 
the message is the medium. And 
though I suspect that this final flip in 
the message may be technically weak, 
it is an interesting experiment. No 

Soon the fellow is enjoying phone conversations with the tv image of his latest 
conquest (Deborah Harry), a "Dr. Ruth"-type sex advisor with an unexpiained 
streak of masochism. Later his belly develops a weird vagina-like opening into 
which his oppressors shove videocassettes. 

"... wondering why his television set has developed varioose veins and a 
severe bulging of the tube. " Victim of an advanced form of mind control, 
Videodrome's small-time cable tv producer (played by James Woods) suffers a 
series of erotic— and Increasingly violent— hallucinations. 

though it rather disajpproves of their 
goings-on. Its stance is one of alarm 
at the sinister threat to mankind 
posed by the purveyors of violent tv 
"entertainment." What is this constant 
exposure to increasingly brutal forms 
of amusement doing to us, anyway? 

Cronenberg shakes his head and 
we shake ours with him as we watch 
his antihero, a tv producer played by 
James Woods, discover and gloat over 
a mysterious underground tv show 
called "Videodrome," which is being 
broadcast not over the channels we 
know, but between them. The 
producer becomes more and more 
convinced that this torture and snuff 
show — for that is what "Videodrome" 
is — is just vyhat the television public, 
too jaded to be intrigued even by 
Roman orgies, would take to their 
hearts. Girls being whipped to death, 
slow garrotings, a plethora of nasty 
and convincing mutilations — what 
more could the home viewer ask for? 

Soon our antihero has become 
completely addicted to "Videodrome." 
Can't do without it. Must watch his 
pirated tapes of it every night. But, 
friends, his pleasure is not without its 
drawbacks, for watching the program 
has two really deleterious effects on 
the man: (1) It makes him confused 
about reality, to the extent of 
wondering why his television set has 
developed varicose veins and a severe 
bulging of the tube. (2) It turns him 
into a human VCR, a videocassette 

Now as stated in our thesis, none 
of this is suggested or hinted at. It is 
shown, ingeniously, in graphic detail, 
and with numerous elaborations and 
increasingly awful variations as the 


Twilight Zone 13 


. . part Navajo and part old bloodhound." One of the tribe of Mystics in 
The Dark Crystal, who move siowiy, mutter prophetic things, and appear to 
have something rather like The Force on their side. 

The thing I cannot forgive providing the essential intelligence; 

Videodrome for is yet another flip at Henson and Frank Oz (of Muppet 

its end, a much more serious one, and fame) directed the action, and the 

one so structurally incongruous that it supply lines were established and 
really is inexcusable. protected by producer Gary Kurtz, 

The whole movie, as stated seasoned veteran of Star Wars and 

above, is mercilessly explicit, almost other spectacularly successful foray; 
tediously insistent that you see The troops following them are legic 

everything no matter how repulsive it the listing of them — the battalions ( 
may be or how technically difficult it special effects experts, costume 
may be to deliver. Okay, again. Well designers, creators of sets and lighti 
and good. A perfectly acceptabl| and God knows what — goes on anc 

approach to filmmaking. But at the on forever, making even the credit 

end of Videodrome we are led up to a roll call for E. T. seem tiny, 
wonder, a marvel, the end result of So how did it go? How success 

the movie's entire preoccupation, and, was the landing? Did they take the 
to our amazement, we don't see what high ground? Has the occupation 
happens! When the final kicker, the held? 

visual event of visual events arrives. Well, yes and no. The first gre. 

Cronenberg's camera suddenly turns flaw of the film, to me, is its almos 

demure, blushingly shy. It averts its unrelenting lugubriousness. It is 

lens; it even turns itself off. After thorough, solemn, heavily moral, a: 

programming us to confidently expect gloomy. I know this is a tradition i 

a clear, unblinking stare at all events, the genre of the fairy tale— Baba Y; 

we are suddenly protected from of the cold Russian winters comes t 

having so much as a glimpse of the mind— but it is not to my liking, 

movie's ultimate horror. Not a peek. Gloom in portions by all means, at 

Not a hint. Only blackness and The awful moments. But (and I freely 

End. admit this is absolutely a matter of 

That's not playing fair, Dave. personal taste) there should also be 

The Dark Crystal is another kind 
of experiment in total exposure, but 
whereas Videodrome wishes us to 
experience gory nightmares without 
any shield. Crystal wants us to view, 
directly and in clear focus, nothing 
less than Fairyland. 

It is, to say the least, a daring 
and bold idea. Fairyland is a very 
private place for all of us. Any 
attempt to depict it risks becoming a 
resented invasion, and a muffed 
attempt to do so can result in a really 
spectacular failure. 

The Dark Crystal's Fairyland 
invasion army is composed of some of 
the best troops that could be 
mustered. Brian FrOud, the English 
illustrator, is the star creative general, 
making all the basic maps and 

made Crystal decided that if they did 
not actually show the crowds, they'd 
be cheating. 

The population we do see in this 
sparsely settled Fairyland is, by and 
large, most interesting, and the most 
interesting of all, of course, are the 
villains. These are the nasty Skekses, 
who look like vultures in Tudor 
finery and dwell in a black, spiky 
castle along with their beetlelike 
warriors the Gaithim, and crystal 
bats, and a number of sort-of rats. 

All are quite well-realized, and when 
a Skeksis dies ht; crumbles like an old 
building in a most engaging manner. 

The Mystics, are the best of the 
good guys, being part Navajo and 
part old bloodhound. Their way of 
life is nicely suggested — a kind of 
dreamy American Indian mishmash — 
and the only problem I had with 
them was why wasn't their tribe given 
a Dunsanian name, as with the other 

Crystal gets into trouble with the 
Gelflings, which are (what's left of 
them — there are only two) as close to 
human form as any creature gets in 
the film, and are therefore (as 
happens with Snow White and any 
number of similar ventures) the most 
unconvincing. C>ne odd blunder is 
that our first view of the male 
Gelfling shows him near stripped, and 
for quite a long-held shot, so that, try 
as we might to do otherwise, we 
know without any doubt that we are 
being introduced to a puppet. It's 
particularly strange because 
throughout the rest of the film we see 
him clothed and thus more 

But the worst part about the 
Gelflings is that they are an accurate 
reflection on Fraud's work, 
which is mostly really swell stuff, but 
which is at its v^eakest when he's 
doing his wispier creatures. (I know 
Faeries is a big bestseller — what can I 
say?) And the Gelflings are decidedly 

However, that aside, there are 
some really mar/elous things in the 
movie. My favorite sequence takes 
place in a swamp full of grand 
inventions, both vegetable and animal, 
including flying flowers and a lovable 
swamp mother. It all worked so well 
it made me wonder if the sequel to 
Crystal might not be well advised to 
skip the trappings of plot and present 
itself as a travelogue. (Q 

14 Twilight Zone 

B ernard Herrman, the greatest 
composer of film music in the 
symphonic tradition, once 
quipped that he would only be 
"remembered for a few lousy movies." 
A gentle man with a prickly facade, 
Herrmann was perhaps indulging in 
calculated understatement, yet his 
remark does reflect the low state in 
which film composers are often held 
by the musical establishment. This 
snobbery is especially unfortunate 
— indeed, masochistic — given the 
terrible difficulty contemporary 
composers have marketing their work. 
As composer Constant Lambert has 
astutely observed, "Film music offers 
the serious composer what has been 
lacking since the eighteenth century 
— a reasonable commercial outlet for 
his activities, comparable to the 
occasional' music which the greatest 
classical composers did not despise to 

Actually, "occasional" music has 
always been somewhat controversial, 
and not always for reasons of 
snobbery. The fundamental esthetic 
question is whether music composed 
expressly for an extra-musical medium 
can retain its identity and emotional 
power if wrenched from its original 
context — whether it be a play, a 
church service, or, in our own time, a 
film. Certainly the prospect of 
listening to a Herrmann film score as 
a piece of "pure" music is altogether 
desirous: to be sure, the music for 
Psycho, a film most of us have seen, 
is especially shudder)' because it 
evokes the film; but the music for 
Vertigo, which no one can see because 
Hitchcock yanked it out of 

circulation, is a sensuous and shivery 
experience entirely on its own. The 
music survives its original film context 
because Herrmann was a great 
composer: his best music doesn't 
"accompany" a given film so much as 
saturate and enhance it. 

Herrmann's first break in film 
music came, auspiciously enough, 
when Orson Welles asked him to 
compose the music for Citizen Kane 
(1940), a film considered by such 
critics as the late Dwight MacDonald 
to be America's greatest. Herrmann 
had already written radio music for 
Welles's "Mercury Theater Playhouse," 
and when Welles decided to make the 
move to cinerha he brought Herrmann 
along. The prelude to Citizen Kane 
opens with a ghostly variation on the 
medieval death chant "Dies irae" 
(quoted also by Berlioz, Liszt, and 
Rachmaninoff), which immediately 
bathes the film in a morose, sinister 
atmosphere. A dramatic glissando for 
the harp, one of Herrmann's favorite 
instruments (the Twelve-Mile Reef 
score features nine of them) introduces 
the contrasting "Rosebud" motif for 
strings, a bittersweet glimpse of 
crushed idealism. At the end, 

Herrmann brings back the "Dies irae" 
theme in a solemn brass chorale, the 
symphonic weight of which had not 
been heard in movies since Prokofiev's 
score for Eisenstein's Alexander 
Nevsky. Utterly lacking in Herrmann's 
score was the schmaltzy, swooning ' 
"big tune" approach to 
movie music so widespread in 

Although large sections of Citizen 
Kane contain mysterious, unsettling 

music, Herrmann's first consistently 
nightmarish score came four years 
later in Hangover Square, John 
Brahm's film about a psychotic, 
murderous composer who sets fire to 
a concert hall during a performance of 
his own piano concerto. This piece, 
Herrmann's Concerto Macabre, is a 
genuine, full-bodied piano concerto 
in the Gothic tradition of Liszt's 
spectacularly grim Todtentanz for 
Piano and Orchestra (described in 
these'pages in the February, 1982 
issue). Herrmann was the only 
Hollywood composer to orchestrate 
his own scores, and the results are 
especially telling here: the somber 
orchestration emphasizes the dark 
sonorities of double basses (a 
premonition of Psycho) and lower 
brass, while the percussive piano 
writing plunges down into the lowest 
bass register. At the climax, we hear a 
series of dramatic suspensions, a 
favorite Herrmann device used 
repeatedly in later scores to evoke 
wrenching ambiguity and irresolution. 
The ending has the mad pianist 
finishing the concerto alone, deep in 
the bass, the terrified orchestra having 
long since fled in disarray. 

Both the Citizen Kane suite and 
the Hangover Square concerto are 
available in a hard-to-find 1974 RCA 
recording (The Classic Film Scores of 
Bernard Herrmann, Charles Gerhardt, 
National Philharmonic Orchestra, 

RCA ARLl-0707, OP). It is 
unfortunate that this stunningly 
recorded disc (which also includes 
White Witch Doctor and Beneath the 
Twelve-Mile Reef) is out of print in 
the U.S., for neither Hangover Square 



Twilight Zone 15 

nor the more spectral portions of 
Citizen Kane are available elsewhere. 
(The British version, still in print, is 
listed as RCA GL 43441.) 

After Hangover Square, 

Herrmann became increasingly 
preoccupied with terror, suspense, and 
fantasy. His early television credits 
include music for The Alfred ^ 

Hitchcock Show, Kraft Suspense 
Theater, and The Twilight Zone. 
Beginning with Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) and 
Robert Wise's The Day the Earth 
Stood Still (1951), Herrmann turned 
out an extraordinary series of scores 
for fantasy, science fiction, and 
suspense films. 

Attractive excerpts from these 
scores are available in three collections 
recorded by Herrmann himself for 
London's "Phase IV" recordings, a 
series noted for its brilliantly close-up 
but rather cold and unreverberan^ 
sound. The Mysterious Film World of 
Bernard Herrmann (Bernard 
Herrmann, National Philharmonic 
Orchestra, London SPC 21137) opens 
with the music for Cy Endfield's 1961 
Mysterious Island. The prelude, which 
suggests a stormy seascape, unleashes 
massive modal chords which continue 
to cut into the following "Balloon" 
sequence. We are then treated to 
musical portraits of three of Ray 
Harryhausen's celebrated oversized 
critters: "The Giant Crab," "The 
Giant Bee," and "The Giant Bird." An 
even more impressive score is the 
music for Don Chaffey's 1933 Jason 
and the Argonauts, which eliminates 
strings and uses brass, wind, and 
percussion to create an austere, 
muscular sound of tremendous weight 
and presence. 

Bernard Herrmann Conducts 
(London Philharmonic and National 
Philharmonic Orchestras, London SPC 
2177) offers five scenes from 
Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 (1966). 

With his usual fondness for unusual 
orchestration, Herrmann uses a 
simple, pared-down ensemble of 
strings, harp, and percussion to create 
a sound far removed from the 
"futuristic" electronic gimmickry of 
most science fiction films. In fact, 
Fahrenheit 451 is one of Herrmann's 
most mysterious and beautiful scores, 
especially the prelude, with its 
bewitching echoes of the "Neptune" 
finale of Holst's The Planets, and the 
book-burning scene, with its leaping. 

flame-like harp arpeggios. 

The most complete overall 
introduction to Herrmann is provided 
on a recording of re-releases simply 
entitled Bernard Herrmann (London 
SPC 21151), a record featuring short, 
composer-conducted excerpts from 
eleven scores (including Citizen Kane 
and Jason and the Argonauts). One 
of the most attractive snippets here 
is the overture to The Seventh 
Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Herrmann's 
Scheherezade, with its Arabian Nights 
orientalisms. Another is the "Atlantis" 
sequence from Journey to the Center 
of the Earth (1959), ingeniously scored 
for an orchestra without strings but 
with no less than five organs. This 
quiet, eerie music is pure atmosphere, 
color, and goose pimples. 

The most important items on the 
record, however, are the excerpts 
from Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), 

North by Northwest (1959), and 
Psycho (1960), the most enduring 
fruits of the greatest director/ 
composer collaboration since 
Eisenstein/ Prokofiev. The shortest of 
these is the kinetic overture to North 
by Northwest, which opens with the 
ominous roar of MGM's Leo the Lion 
and builds to what Herrmann called a 
musical depiction of "the crazy dance 
about to take place between Cary 
Grant and the world." The entire 
score is available on a sensational 
digital British recording North by 
Northwest, (Laurie Johnson, London 
Studio Symphony Orchestra, Unicorn- 
Kanchana, DKP 9000). 

Even more gripping is the music 
for Psycho, Herrmann's most horrific 
score and surely his most 
revolutionary. In previous scores, 
Herrmann moved away from surface 
glitter and extraneous Hollywood "big 
tunes." In Psycho, Herrmann 
abandoned melody almost entirely, 
relying on slashing, dissonant chords, 
athematic atmosphere sequences, and 
a violent rhythmic pulse, devices • 
which effectively fill the audience with 
unease even when there is nothing 
overtly disturbing on the screen. From 
the first knife-like chords in the title 
sequence to the final bleak ninth 
chord. Psycho gives us Herrmann's art 
stripped to its stark essentials. The 
orchestra, for example, consists of 
strings alone, in order, as Herrmann 
put it, to "complement the black and 
white photography of the film with a 
black and white sound." 

The most famous sequence is the 
gruesome shower scene, which 
Hitchcock originally wanted to film 
with no music at all, and which 
became, at Herrmann's insistence, an 
unforgettable fusion of music and 
action. The violently screeching string 
chords are a dasiiic example of 
Herrmann's ability to cut to the 
essence of a scene and translate it 
unerringly into sound. But the quiet 
music is also masterly, as in the 
strange tremolos and harmonics in the 
"Discovery" sequence. Herrmann once 
stated that film music is "the 
connecting link between screen and 
audience, reaching out and enveloping 
all in one single experience." In 
Psycho, the most "enveloping" of all 
his scores, he reaches out to grab us 
by the throat. This is quite simply the 
most unforgettable horror music in 
film history. 

Amazingly, the complete Psycho 
was not recorded until 1975, and even 
that version is out of print (Psycho, 
Bernard Herrmann, National 
Philharmonic Orchestra, Unicorn 
RHS 336). Fortunately, Herrmann 
reconstructed a fourteen-minute 
"Narrative for Oi'chestra" based on 
the score in 1968, which is available 
on the Bernard Herrmann record and 
presented in a valuable anthology of 
Hitchcock scores which includes music 
from Mamie, North by Northwest, 
Vertigo, and The Trouble with Harry 
(Music from the Great Movie 
Thrillers, Bernard Herrmann, London 
Philharmonic Orc;hestra, London 
SP 44126). 

Three episodes from Vertigo are 
available on this record, but it is 
better, as always, to get the complete 
music: Herrmann s art is organic 
rather than episodic, with motifs 
accruing new meanings and nuances 
each time they recur. It is now 
possible to hear the entire Vertigo 
score from the original soundtrack on 
a newly pressed, superbly recorded 
Mercury "Golden Imports" release 
(Vertigo, Muir Mjithieson, Sinfonia of 
London, Mercury SRI 75117). This 
record is well worth having: if Psycho 
is Herrmann's most economical score. 
Vertigo is his mo;3t expansive, with a 
terrifying preview of Psycho in the 
"Rooftop," "Tower," and "Nightmare" 
sequences and the most passionate, 
haunting love music Herrmann was 
ever to write in the love scenes. 
Indeed, Vertigo has the widest 

16 Twilight Zone 

• *.' / 'If « 

■' 4 A If Ilk , 

p tr iiib 'E il- f- ' 

emotional and technical range of any 
Herrmann score. 

Herrmann broke virith Hitchcock 
after Mamie (1964) because the studio 
began demanding the very hit-parade 
style of material Herrmann had 
devoted his career to opposing. He 
experienced a slight decline in the late 
sixties, then came back with an 
awkward start in the early seventies. 
His scores for Alastair Reid's The 
Night Digger (1970) and Brian de 
Palma's Sisters (1972) make both films 
seem more frightening than they 
actually are, and his shivery score for 
It's Alive (1974) is surely the most 
bizarre coupling of a distinguished 
score with a B-movie (albeit a trashily 
effective one) in movie history. 

But 1975, the last year of 
Herrmann's life, saw the composition 
of two of his strongest works. 
Obsession, his second de Palma score, 
looks back to "Vertigo as if in a 
dream, using a spectral chorus to 
evoke some of the motifs and moods 
of the earlier film. Far from a 

mechanical reworking of familiar 
material. Obsession is one of 
Herrmann's most haunting, romantic 

His last work. Taxi Driver, is, 
like the Martin Scorcese film itself, a 
masterpiece: its weirdly distorted blues 
riffs imbue Herrmann's characteristic 
harmonies with an energy that builds 
and finally explodes into the 
frightening percussion crashes of the 
film's brutal climax. Herrmann's best 
work always evoked terror and 
menace, and Taxi Driver is a fitting, 
if tragically premature finale. His 
death at the age of sixty-five was a 
sad blow to the worlds of both music 
and film. 

In the evolution of twentieth- 
century music. Bernard Herrmann was 
not an especially radical or innovative 
composer. Unlike Ives and Debussy, 
whose works he loved and 
championed as a conductor, he did 
not significantly advance the language 
of music. Like Brahms, he was a 
synthesizer, not an innovator. His 

achievement was to incorporate 
established techniques of twentieth- 
century symphonic music into film 
scores of unsurpassed intelligence and 
poetry. Sometimes these techniques 
are fiercely dissonant (the influence of 
Bartok throbs in the background of 
Psycho, as Varese perhaps does in 
Jason and the Argonauts); sometimes, 
as in the film scores of Erich 
Korngold, they are neo-romantic — 
indeed, almost Wagnerian. But 
Herrmann always used them in an 
utterly personal way: every Herrmann 
score is unmistakably by Herrmann. 

Unlike Vaughan Williams, 
Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Walton, 
who wrote distinguished film music 
on an occasional basis, Herrmann 
made his mark primarily in his work 
for film. He was not the first great 
composer who wrote for film but 
rather the first great film composer, a 
unique and important category in the 
music of our time. As we shall see in 
future columns, he was by no means 
the last. iB 

Ybur worst enemy may be 
secretly locked up inside you! 

The Reactive MKnd. It's where all 
of your past pains, failures and 
heartbreaks are stored. And it can 
hold you back from really living. 

Your naturally healthy, , 

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O T H 



M E 

O N S 

E R D I 

N S I 


Walking with Zombies 
and Other Saturday 
Afternoon Pastimes 


by Ron Goulart 

A recent PBS retrospective of 
classic horror movies left 
me with the unsettling 
realization that I'd done the better 
part of my initial spook-film watching 
during the wrong decade entirely. The 
movies that were featured — usually 
sandwiched between programs rich 
with Alistair Cooke's erudite fatuities 
or Pavarotti's crystal-shattering arias — 
seemed to be mostly from the 1930s: 
films such as Frankenstein, Dracula, 
and The Bride of Frankenstein. While 
1 did begin toddling into movie 
palaces toward the tail end of the 
thirties, my most serious and 
dedicated moviegoing took place in 
the forties. I'll be devoting my space 
this issue to the horror movies of that 
decade and to putting forth, partly as 
an act of cultural self-defense, my 
own list of classics. 

A word, first, about ideal viewing 
conditions for the supernatural gems of 
this period. I first saw most of them in 
one or another of the half-dozen movie 
houses in the sleepy, ivy-covered 
California college town where I grew 
to manhood. On Saturday and 
Sunday afternoons I could be found 
at our nearest cinema palace, which 
was called the Rivoli. It was — in 
memory, at least — an immense place, 
and presided over by a manager who 

wore a tuxedo during every vyaking 
hour of his life. Several odors fought 
for dominance, including those of hot 
buttered popcorn, the strong soap 
they used to disinfect the bathrooms, 
and the scent of approaching puberty 
(a heady mixture that included 
sizable portions of perspiration and 
flatulence). Seen under these 
conditions while hunkered in the vast 
surrounding darkness, almost any 
occult movie was sure to have a 
profound effect on me. But I'll try to 
sort the wheat from the chaff and 
suggest which ones still look okay on 
the tiny screen of a television set. 

One of the systems we used to 
rate horror films of the era was based 
on how easy the monsters were to 
imitate during the hike home from the 
theater and in the school yard the 
following week. The Frankenstein ' 
monster ranked high, as did the Wolf 
Man, the Mummy, and any and all 
zombies. Personally I liked to do Bela 
Lugosi as Ygor, the demented sheep- 
herder who took to palling around 
with the Frankenstein monster. Lugosi 
played the role twice, in The Son of 
Frankenstein (1939) and The Ghost of 
Frankenstein (1942). Ygor had 
survived a completely justified 
hanging, and it caused him to walk 
around in a very odd manner with 

his head cocked far to one side. No 
matter who was emoting, even such 
horror heavyweights as Basil 
Rathbone, Lionel Atwill, and Cedric 
Hardwicke, all Lugosi had to do was 
come shuffling in and do his Ygor 
shtick to completely steal the scene. 
I've long nursed the theory that 
Lugosi was one of the great 
comedians of the movies, but won't 
go into an elaboration here. 

The Mumn-iy first surfaced in a 
1932 film of that title, a slow heavy 
movie with Boris Karloff in the title 
role. But he was mostly seen in 
civvies in the film, behaving like a 
beardless Sveng.jli. The really 
effective and fu:ri-to-impersonate 
Mummy didn't come along until 1940 
in Universal's The Mummy's Fland. 
Tom Tyler, who'd been a cowboy 
herb throughout the 1930s and who'd 
be Captain Marvel in the serials, was 
the first to play the new, improved 
Mummy. Wrapped up in what looked 
like hundreds of yards of second-hand 
gauze and appearing about as 
presentable as a package sent Third 
Class, Tyler limped and lurched 
across the screen. He strangled tomb- 
defilers and carried off nightgowned 
damsels with admirable disheveled 
aplomb. The Mummy's Hand was an 
enjoyable film (f saw it again just last 

18 Twilight Zone 

the fact that he was nowhere near to 
being the actor his father was. One 
of his better performance was in The 
Wolf Man (1941). Like earlier 
lycanthrope films (such as 1935's 
Werewolf of London), the victim of 
the blight in this effort didn't turn 
into a full-fledged down-on-all-fours 
wolf. Rather, he became incredibly 
shaggy and snarled a lot. Another 
product of the Universal studios. The 
Wolf Man had an impressive cast that 
included Claude Rains, Ralph 
Bellamy, and Evelyn Ankers (who 
must be tied with Zucco for the 
greatest number of appearances in 
1940s chillers). Bela Lugosi appears 
briefly as the source of the werewolf 
virus, and Maria Ouspenskaya 
delivers what has to be the 
quintessential Old Gypsy Fortune- 
Teller performance. The best parts of 
the picture occur on nights of a full 
moon when poor Chaney, writhing in 
torment, is slowly transformed into a 
snarling wolfman. Any kid could 
easily identify with a guy who tore 
up his room, smashed windows, went 
careening around the neighborhood 
doing mischief, and came dragging 
home long after curfew. What we 
didn't much care for was his stern 
father (played by Claude Rains in his 
best sympathetic martinet style) 
criticizing him all the time, and 
finally beating him to death on the 
fog-ridden moors with a silver-headed 
cane. That cane looked a lot more 
dangerous than .the traditional razor 
strap or hickory rod. Eventually, as is 
often the case, the box office proved 
stronger than death, and Chaney 
came back to life to play the Wolf 
Man for several more go-rounds. 

He was also given the 
opportunity to portray some of 
Universal's stock creatures. He 
donned the lift shoes and the grim 
makeup to be the monster in The 
Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). Ralph 
Bellamy was in this one, too, along 
with the ubiquitous Evelyn Ankers. 

The picture was stolen, as previously 
mentioned, by Lugosi as the dippy 
shepherd. Nineteen forty-three found 
Chaney haunting the Southern bayous 
as Dracula in Son of Dracula. Don't 
ask me who played the title role, * 
since the son never rises in this. The 
put-upon girl is — which should come 
as no surprise by now— blond Evelyn 
Ankers. The evil lady was played by 

Above: 'The really effective and fun- 
to-Impersonate Mummy." Tom Tyler 
wore the sheets in The Mummy's 
Hand (1940). 

Left: "The basic plat was swiped from 
'Jane Eyre.' " Long iDefore Club Med, 
Vol Lewton’s / Walked with a Zombie 
(1943) offered glimpses of the 
complete Caribbean experience. 

week) and has a strong B-movie cast. 
Cecil Kellaway shines as a tipsy stage 
magician who is persuaded to 
finance an expedition to find a lost 
tomb. The dedicated archaeologist is 
played by Dick Foran, another 
cowboy actor and a singing one 
at that, who did most of his 
archaeological work wearing a white 
suit and a dancemari's straw hat. 

There are not one but two evil priests 
to be seen. One is flayed in high 
style by Eduardo Ciannelli (the same 
fellow who gave Cary Grant and his 
sidekicks such a bad time in Gunga 
Din) and the other by the formidable 
George Zucco. It's my impression that 
Zucco (who was also the first to play 
Professor Moriarty in the Rathbone- 
Bruce Sherlock Holmes series) was in 
every single horror movie of the 
forties. He wears a lez in this one 
and looks like a crazed Shriner. 

There were several more Mummy 
movies made early in the decade, all 
with Lon Chaney, Jr. under the 
wrappings, but none equaled this one. 

Certainly no actor of that decade 
was more put upon than Lon 
Chaney, Jr. He had curses heaped 
upon him, electricity shot into him, 
vampires and werewolves nibbling at 
him. He survived it all and kept 
plodding along, almost able to hide 

Louise Albritton in a black wig that 
looked left over from a road-show 
production of Antony and Cleopatra. 
My favorite bit in this one occurs 
when the good guys spell the name 
Chaney is using backwards and get 
an inkling of who he really might be. 
He's been calling himself Count Alucard. 

In the forties, as I moved from 
cherubic little tyke to acned teen, I 
paid little attention to who produced 
or directed the movies I was 
consuming. Thus it wasn't until some 
years later that I became aware that 
several of my favorite scary movies 
of the period had been produced by 
Val Lewton and directed, for the 
most part, by Jacques Tourneur. 

From 1942 through 1946 Lewton, 
working with his own production unit 
at RKO, turned out nine horror 
films, including Cat People, I Walked 
with a Zombie, The Leopard Man, 

Isle of the Dead, and The Body 
Snatcher. At the time, I preferred Cat 
People, but now 1 find / Walked with 
a Zombie to be the best of the lot. 
Too bad, in a way, because it's 
difficult to have a serious discussion 
about a film with a title like that. 
There isn't much out-and-out horror 
in it^ but it is a very unsettling film. - 
The scene wherein Frances Dee, as 
the hired nurse, walks Tom Conway's 
zombie wife through the windswept 
jungle to a voodoo meeting is still 
highly effective. And there is also a 
scene in which all that happens is 
that calypso singer Sir Lancelot 
slowly walks toward Dee as she sits 
at an outdoor cafe table and sings a 
song to her about the family she is 
working for. The scene manages to 
be quietly chilling. As Lewton 
admitted, the basic plot was swiped 
from fane Eyre, but he and Tourneur 
created something much beyond just 
another Gothic. 

A few months ago in these 
pages, when I reviewed the sorry 
remake of Cat People, I extolled the 
virtues of Lewton and company. 

They were able to create terror and 
unease without ever showing us a 
disemboweled corpse or a naked girl 
being sliced up by a chainsaw. As 
time goes by their achievements 
seem increasingly impressive. 

On my honor roll of 1940s 
horror classics I also make room for 
movies that are masterpieces of god- 
awfulness. Among the best in this 


Twilight Zone 19 

genre are two Bela Lugosi epics. 

Devil Bat (1941) and Voodoo Man 
(1941). Both have much to commend 
them, but I am somewhat fonder of 
Voodoo Man. Besides Lugosi, the 
picture also stars John Carradine and 
George Zucco. A mad doctor, Lugosi 
is waylaying young women and using 
them in experiments designed to 
return his living-dead wife to normal. 
In-order to summon girls, he has 
Zucco, who in everyday life seems to 
run the local gas station, drop over 
to his creepy mansion. Once there 
Zucco dons a black robe and a silly 
hat and starts babbling gibberish. 

This voodoo ritual is powerful 
enough to cause young women to 
hop out of their beds clad in filmy 
nightdresses and come marching ^to 
the mansion. Whenever I have 
downcast moments and think I may 
be prostituting my talent, I have but 
to think of Zucco, an actor trained 
on the British stage, chanting away in 
his voodoo robe. It gives me the 
strength to go on. 

In Devil Bat Lugosi is also a mad 
doctor. He is so inventive that he 
creates not only gigantic killer bats 
but an after-shave lotion that attracts 
them. The scenes in which Lugosi 
passes out free samples of the lotion 
to his intended victims are the high 
points of the movie. 

Another staple of the forties 
was the horror comedy. Looking 
backward, I suspect this subspecies 
had an even more profound effect 
on me than the more somber films 
mentioned above, and that it quite 
probably had a mutagenic effect on 
my creative faculties. To this day I 
can't seem to write a completely 
serious ghost or horror tale. 

My favorite came along right at 
the start of the decade — Bob Hope's 
Ghost Breakers (1940). Directed by 
George Marshall from a script by 
Walter DeLeon, this film was the 
second of three that teamed Hope 
with Paulette Goddard. The first. The 
Cat and the Canary (1939), was also 
a horror comedy, and Hope considers 
it "the turning point of my movie 
career." It was, he says, "an 
A-picture tailored for me. Before that, 
I was wearing other actors' castoffs." 
The Cat and the Canary, even 

though it included Gale Sondergaard 
and George Zucco in the cast, is not 
as good as Ghost Breakers. Both 
Hope and Goddard are much more at 
ease in their second film, and Hope 
has Willie Best as his sidekick. 
Although Best has been criticized by 
some critics for his portrayals of the 
stereotyped black, he was an 
exceptional comic actor. In this 
picture he is especially good in a 
dockside sequence where he's trying 
to communicate with Hope, who 
happens to be locked inside a steamer 
trunk. A drunk (played by Jack 
Norton, who seldom played anything 
else on the screen) totters along and 
assumes that Best is a ventriloquist. 
Ghost Breakers is an Old Dark House 
movie at heart, with a gloomy castle 
on an island off Cuba serving as the 
house. The sequences in the shadowy 
castle, complete with a ghost, a 
zombie, and a crypt containing a 
hidden treasure, manage to be scary 
and funny at the same time. 

Marshall, by the way, also directed a 
dreary remake of this. It was a 
Martin and Lewis vehicle called 
Scared Stiff (1953). 

Less subtle than the Hope- 
Goddard movies was Hold That 
Ghost (1941), an Abbott and Costello 
epic. In this one they inherit a 
seemingly haunted inn that once 
belonged to a defunct gangster. They 
spend a stormy night along with Joan 
Davis, Richard Carlson, and the ever- 
present Evelyn Ankers. When this 
picture was first released, I was of 
the opinion that Abbott and Costello, 
along with the Three Stooges, were 
among the funniest fellows on the 
face of the earth. Having matured 
some in the intervening four-plus 
decades, I no longer even chuckle 
over the Stooges' antics, but I must 
confess I still like Abbott and 
Costello. In Hold That Ghost it's 
Costello, the more likable of the two 
and the one kids always identify 
with, who does all the scared stiff 
routines that somebody like Willie 
Best was noted for. A much better 
picture and the high point of A&C's 
career was the horror comedy Abbott 
and Costello Meet Frankenstein 
(1948). In this Lugosi returns for his 
final portrayal of Dracula and 

"Personally, I liked to do Ygor. " Bela 
Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr. starred in 
The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). 

Chaney gives his farewell performance 
as the Wolf Man. 

Quite possit'ly more horror 
comedies were made in the 1940s 
than any other time before or since. 
Just about everybody made at least 
one. The Bower;^ Boys made several, 
including Spooks Run Wild (1941) — 
with Bela Lugosi and a newcomer 
named Ava Gardner — and Spook 
Busters (1946). One of the Blondie 
series, Blondie Has Servant Trouble 
(1940), puts Penny Singleton and 
Arthur Lake into a haunted mansion. 
Harold Peary, then famous on the 
radio, did Gildersleeve's Ghost in 
1944. This RKO comedy, which I 
find myself enjoying every time I see 
it, contains an invisible girl, a mad 
doctor, a runaway gorilla, and two 
ghosts — all crammed into a running 
time of only sixty-four minutes. The 
director was Goi'don Douglas, who 
went on to direct Them and In Like 

Another Douglas effort was 
Zombies on Broadway (1945). This is 
a dopey movie, but I can't help liking 
it. The stars are a comedy team 
created just for the movies, RKO's 
answer to Abboi:t and Costello. 
Somehow, though, Wally Brown and 
Alan Carney never caught on. In 
Zombies on Broadway, Brown, the 
tall thin one, and Carney, the short 
fat one, are sent to the Caribbean to 
find a real zombie to be used in a 
nightclub show in Manhattan. Since 
the film was shot at RKO, where 1 
Walked with a Zombie had been 
made a couple of years earlier, you 
get the impression the comics have 
landed on the same island that 
Frances Dee went to. Bela Lugosi is 
on hand, turning out first-rate 
zombies in his w'alled castle. Also to 
be seen are Sir Lancelot, doing more 
ominous calypso tunes, and a black 
actor named Darby Jones. Jones, 
whose entire scnjen career apparently 
consists of two credits, is the chief 
zombie. He was also the zombie in 
the Lewton film. 

As I near tbie finish line on this 
piece, I realize I haven't covered half 
of the 1940s horror comedies and not 
one of the invisible man films. Give 
me a few months and maybe I'll try 
again. IS 

20 Twilight Zone 

Fantasy Acrostic # 1 


Peter Cannon 

lE 4 |Y 5 iHe IB 7 

I pa i i vio jsii In: Ihi3 Iyi 4 luis 

|y38^^^^1W39|u40 141 

|h57 |e58 |o59 |u60 

|c25 |q27 |f28 j A29 |k30 E31 B32 1n33 lw34 |q35 I 

|s43 |a44 1X45 | N4p |r47 |m 48 lo49 {ibO C51 l A52 |o33 Y54 l 

|Y61 iRd2 |q63 |lb4 | Xfeo 167 I FbS |Be9 I E70 lo?! 1 y72 | N73 1074 I 

G 16 I 117 I W 18 |K 19 

Q35 1136 ^^|c37 

Here's a puzzle for aficionados of weird tales and Weird Tales. 
From the clues listed below, guess the words they define and write 
the answers over the numbered dashes. Then transfer each letter to 
the square with the same number in the crossword-type grid. Read- 
ing from left to right, the completed grid will spell out a key quota- 
tion from a well-known work of fantasy. Black squares separate the 

A. Small thin sponge cake 

29 44 110 183 52 145 tb? 20 126 117 

B. The Castle of (granddaddy of gothic novels) 

177 32 69 98 119 7 132 

C. Made null; excreted 

individual words. (Some words, therefore, are broken off at the 
right edge of the grid and continue at the left, one line below, just as 
on a printed page.) 

Note: The first letters of each answer, in order, (29 — 177 — 94 
etc.), provide the author's name and the title of the work. (Answers 
appear on page 47.) 

N. One who transmutes base metals into gold 

~73 W 137 13 3 Tbi 46 1.75 23 

O. Adolphe de Castro story (2 wds. after "The"; see November 
1928 issue of Weird Tales); final exam 

94 51 79 129 25 104 

179 59 106 85 49 71 89 53 

D. Phantom; ideal ("It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity, 

and desolution; the putrid, dripping of unwholesome 


lio ISo Im l 82 IT 

E. Conan the (Hint: not "Barbarian," not "Conqueror") 

Ho IW ~i 5^ 1s" 1o“ ir TloT l49 

F. English poet and dramatist (The Fair Penitent), poet laureate 
and first modem editor of Shakespeare (1674-1718) 

11 “ ~W “ 90 ” ItT 

G. Achieve; reach 

166 16 80 184 37 97 

H. Bare-knuckle combat; means of fighting in Barlow's "The Battle 
That Ended the Century" 

^87 “42 b~ IH HI ~82~ 'H I47 H~ 142 ' 

I. Dyed; colored 

88 12 115 157 41 64 

J. Brain trust (2 wds.), e.g. Hudson Institute 

P. American bookman and poet (The He.'maphrodite); protege of 
Hart Crane (1887-1976); also, what — literally — philanthropists 
do (2 wds.) 

135 143 181 75 8 188 146 

Q. Salve; unguent 

27 156 35 74 127 9 63 168 

R. A crowning ornament or detail (Arch.); ornamental knob on 
lamp top. ("The vacant church was in a state of great decrep- 
itude. Some of the high stone buttresses had fallen, and several 

delicate s lay half lost among tfie brown, neglected 

weeds and grasses.") 

144 62 161 105 136 47 

S. Murder weapon preferred by some in Texas (2 wds.) 

11 125 141 122 43 81 108 158 

T. American stained-glass artist (1848-1933) 

1F 148“ IH TsT In IH lo” 

U. Witches' holiday 

40 76 15 100 83 26 165 186 60 

V. "The Fall of the House of " 

172 17 - 93 109 36 124 153 87 138 

K. British horror writer (1877-1918) specializing in sea tales; see April 
1982 issue of Twilight Zone 

178 139 56 86 10 

170 116 30 185 160 96 19 

L. Weird, eerie, ("It had been an thing — no wonder sen- 

sitive students shudder at the Puritan age in Massachusetts.") 

W. Ancient Roman porker (2 wds.) 

78 159 39 18 22 99 34 114 

X. One of "an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more 
numerous formerly than they are today." 

55 77 180 189 103 151 67 2 

M. Abstention from sexual intercourse; purity 

176 66 45 134 21 1 

Y. Corrupt; unsound, unhealthy 

102 24 118 130 163 48 169 152 

14 154 173 54 5 72 121 38 111 61 91 Q 

22 Twilight Zone 

He's even supplied his own blurb; 





The old man in the bar 
slumped over in his booth 
and threw up on the floor. 

My wife turned away. 

It's funny, because only thir- 
ty minutes ago we were in the 
ballpark watching the Dodg- 
ers, and three hours before 
that we were making love. 

It was just a place to stop for 
a cold brew . . . but we didn't 
belong there. 

So we left. 

Twilight Zone's Second Annual 
Short Story Contest is now over — the 
three winners appeared in our previous 
issue— and our Third is now under 
way (see announcement, page 48). But 
we wouldn't want to close our books 
on last year's competition without 
reprinting what was undoubtedly the 
strangest entry of all, submitted by 
Bill Devoe of Long Beach, California, 
who describes it as "something I spewed 
out between Major L,eague Ideas— just 
my comment on story writing in 
general. Ya know, every story I've ever 
read or written, or any story ever writ- 
ten, always has something big happen, 
some sort of tension or event that peo- 
ple remember. I don't know, maybe 
I'm nuts." 

Fans of Lord Bulwer-Lytton's 
ghostly classic "The Haunted and the 
Haunters" (and though we are not 
among them, H.P. Lovecraft and 
Montague Summers were) will be un- 
happy to hear of a new writing compe- 
tition recently reported in the New 
York Times: 

Hunt On Nationwide 
For Wretched Writers 

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan 29 (AP)-A 
search is on for the nation's most 
wretched writers. 

English professors at San Jose State 
University have announced that the 
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, 
which is in its second year, has been 
opened to the public for the first 

The contest seeks the opening sen- 
tence to the worst of all. possible 
no'ijels. All entries must be written by 
the entrant and previously un- 

The contest was inspired by Ed- 
ward Bulwer-Lytton, a writer of the 
early 19th century, who began his 
novel "Paul Clifford" this way; "It 
was a dark and stormy night; the rain 
fell in torrents— except at occasional 
intervals, when it was checked by a 
violent gust of wind which swept up 
the streets (for it is in London that 
our scene lies), rattling along the 
house-tops and fiercely agitating 
against the scanty flame of the lamps 
that struggled against the darkness." 

There's probably 
no cause for 
alarm, but writer 
George R.R. Martin 
("Remembering Melody, 
TZ April '81) 
swears he saw the 
above sign while 
attending a recent 
sf convention in 
Dallas. Note: Diners 
at Tingles should 
do well on clue A 
of this issue's TZ 
Quiz, page 22. 

Yes, we know. You used to have a Floating Globes, for $100.) and The Dead Zone ("A heavily read 

fabulous collection of Archie comics So just make sure your mother copy with some minor damp-staining 

and an entire run of Justice League of doesn't get her hands on this issue of along the bottom edge") for $225. 

America, along with a genuine Space Twilight Zone, because someday you Finally, the recent catalogue of a cer- 

Patrol glow-in-the-dark decoder belt may be able to use it as the down pay- tain Texas autograph house lists a 

and a ten-tools-in-one Rin Tin Tin ment on your country home (if the Stephen King signature for $17.50. The 

Desert Survival Kit, and one day your paper doesn't turn to dust first). Our item reads, "Bank check made out to 
mother threw them out. And now inclusion of The Raft — a piece of prime him and signed on verso. Dated Dec. 
those things are worth a fortune. (Ac- Kingiana — makes the issue even morer 28, 1981. Fine, dark signature." (Well, 
cording to Jeff Rovin's Science Fiction valuable; a New York rare book dealer what kind did they expect?) 

Collector's Catalog, a Big Little Book has just offered a first edition of Carrie 

called Flash Gordon and the Monsters ("Fine in d/j with very minor rubbing") TZ note: The catalogue also lists, 

of Mongo is going for $80 today and for $100, and another dealer is offering for the same price, a genuine Rod Serling 
another. Buck Rogers in the City of bound review copies of Cujo for $135 signature. 

Twilight Zone 23 

© 1983 Warner Bros. 


Physician-tumed-filmmaker George 
Miller, director of the segment based 
on "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," is 
used to vast spaces— his 1982 The 
Road Warrior, probably the supreme 
action movie of the last ten years, is 
set amid an arid Australian landscape 
stretching for miles in every direction 
. —but Twilight Zone has forced hifti to 
concentrate his energies. He regards 
his work on the film as an homage to 
Rod Serling, whom he credits with 
having been "consistently able to do 
more with less." 


From Down Under 
to ‘20,000 Feet’ 
by Robert Martin 

George Miller has come a long way 
from Chinchilla, the tiny Australian town 
where he was born. And while Mad Max 
and its sequel The Road Warrior are 
solid evidence of his filmmaking talent, 
there's a good deal of fortuity involved 
in the combination of circumstances 
that brought him to Steven Spielberg's 
Twilight Zone project. 

For instance, it was Miller's good for- 
tune to have a twin brother. All through 
medical school at the University of New 
South Wales, Miller would spend his time 
at the local movie theater, relying upon 
his med student brother to attend lec- 
tures and take detailed notes. Later his 
brother entered and won a film compe- 
tition, and won free attendance at a 
month-iong summer film workshop. Lucki- 
ly, Miller was able to convince the work- 
shop's administrators that he should be 
allowed to attend as well, and— another 
stroke of luck— it was there that he met 
Byron Kennedy, who would later pro- 
duce both Mad Max films. 

His involvement in The Twilight Zone 
came about through a similar happy co- 
incidence. In early '82, Miller was in Holly- 

wood in preparation for the U.S. release 
of The Road Warrior, when he was in- 
vited to visit Spielberg's offices. "They 
were having a meeting to discuss The 
Twilight Zone," recalls Miller. "I remem- 
ber Steven was there, Kathy Kennedy, 
and a few others, and they invited me 
to sit down. Up to that time, it had been 
planned to do three stories, and now 
they'd decided to do a fourth. 'Why 
don't you do one?' someone said. I 
wasn't sure they weren't having me on 
at the time." 

Miller is pleased to be a part of the 
Twilight Zone revival. "We had the series 
in Australia, you know, and it was re- 
garded as almost a textbook for doing 
film on a limited budget," he says. "There 
was a beautifully understated way of do- 
ing things, like suggesting an entire vast 
audience by showing certain individuals, 
and perhaps a row of hands applauding." 

Richard Donntrr, the director of the 
tv version of "Nightmare at 20,000 
Feet," recalled that episode (in TZ's July 
'81 issue) as a tactical nightmare, direct- 
ing a stuntman on a full-sized mock-up 
of an airplane's wing amid artificial light- 
ning, wind, and rain. Miller responds with 
laughter at our mention of Donner's prob- 
lems. "It's funny that you mention that," 
he says, "because, shortly after we 


With shooting completed, the four- 
part Steven Spielberg-John Landis co- 
production of The Twilight Zone is now 
being readied for a late June release. 

Spielberg's modus operand! is to 
keep everyone in suspense until a 
movie opens, and The Twilight Zone 
was no exception, with guards posted 
at the gates or around the perimeter of 
the sets during shooting (though who 
could argue with a man who, along 
with George Lucas, has produced five 
of the largest-grossing motion pictures 
of all time?). 

Despite the secrecy, however, 
we've managed to assemble some on- 
location shots of what promises to be 
one of this summer's most talked-about 
films. In our previous issue we gave 
you a peek at director Joe Dante's seg- 
ment, the second to be filmed, adapted 
by veteran TZ scriptwriter Richard 
Matheson from Jerome Bixby's horror 
tale "It's a Good Life," in which an 
isolated rural town is terrorized by an 
innocent-looking little boy with awe- 
some supernatural powers. Originally 
adapted by Rod Serling for the Twi- 
light Zone tv series, the story was one 
of the highlights of the 1961 season. 

Matheson has also worked on the 
script for the third segment filmed, this 

time based on one of his own Twilight 
Zone episodes, the celebrated "Night- 
mare at 20,000 Feet," in which an air- 
line passenger just recovering from a 
nervous breakdown comes face to face 
with a creature out of modern legend 
— a monstrous airplane-wrecking grem- 
lin. In the original production, tele- 
vised in 1963, the harried hero (whom 
all the other passengers believe to be 
insane) was played by a pre-Star Trek 
William Shatner. The new version, dir- 
ected by Australia's George Miller (The 
Road Warrior), features Tony Awi^rd- 
winner John Lithgow in the role-^ and, 
along for the ride, our own Associate 
Publisher, Carol Serling, as one of the 
passengers. She reports that her first 
acting assignment was anything but 

"As a rule, working on or in a 
film and waiting interminable hours for 
your bit has to be the definite dull do- 
main. Unless you happen to be the 
star, with your own separate trailer 
stocked with a good library and a re- 
frigerator full of esoteric food, it really 
is a bore." Nonetheless, she says, 
"watching Steven direct his part of the 
movie was an education and a delight, 
and I also enjoyed working with Miller 
—especially the chance to look over 

the story-boards before any of the 
cameras rolled." Thanks to her associa- 
tion with the production, on which she 
served as project consultant, we hope 
to bring you several of these story- 
boards in our next issue, along with 
some special-effects drawings. 

Broadway actor John Lithgow, who 
played murderous villains in Brian 
DePalma’s Obsession and Blow-Out 
and a towering transsexual in 
The World According to Garp, 
discovers a monster on the wing of 
an airplane In the segment based on 
"Nightmare at 20.000 Feet." 

24 Twilight Zone 

finished shooting, someone gave me a 
book colied The Twilight Zone Com- 
panion. and of course I immediately 
looked up 'Nightmare at- 20,000 Feet.' 
There were Richard Donner's words, de- 
scribing his experience— and it was 
exactly what I'd just gone through!" 

The film itself will differ in several 
respects from the Donner versbn, partic- 
ularly since Miller's script leans more 
toward Matheson's origirral short-story 
treatment than Mattieson's own tele- 
visbn script did. "For instance," says 
Milter, "the Shatner character was travel- 
ing with his wife, a character that was 
not in the short story, and for that reason 
the printed story v/as much more 
internalized— and more frightening. Of 
course, it makes telling the story a bit 
harder, but that's the way we chose to 
do it." 

With his share of The Twilight Zone 
completed. Milter looks fonvard to his re- 
turn to Australia to begin his next collab- 
oration with Terry Hayes, co-writer on The 
Road Warrior. "We've been trying to get 
together to write something for more 
fhan a year now, but things have pre- 
vented it— The Road Warrior and The 
Twilight Zone. There are several things I'd 
like to do, but I won't tie sure just what it 
will be until we actually start writing." 

Born in upstate New York, Mel Gibson 
is the number-one box office star in 
Australia thanks to the success of the 
“Max" pictures.- 

Ciufching her trusty Twilight Zone, Associate Pubiisher Caroi Serling— who 
plays one of the passengers on the “Nightmare” flight— joins director Miller 
tor a chat over the story-boards. Soys Miller: “Believe It or not, about two 
years ago I was sayirrg to someone, 'Wouldn't it be lovely if some people 
got together and made a tribute to The Twilight Zone?' " 

Mad Max Remembers 
George Miller 

by James Vernlere 

In last summer's science fiction hit. 

The Road Warrior, Australian actor Mel 
Gibson portrayed a futuristic knight er- 
rant hurtling across a blasted landscape 
in a V8 Interceptor on a quest for tomor- 
row's holy grail: gasoline. As Mad Max 
the Road Warrior, Gibson was the mythic 
antihero of the apocalypse, a punk 
black-leather kamikaze in search of 
something worth slammming into. 

In person, actor Mel Gibson has 
much better manners than the snarling, 
shotgun-toting Max. He's young (twenty- 
seven), shy, and very skeptical about the 
recognition his success in The Road War- 
rior has brought him. He's also a serious 
actor (he has done Shakespeare on the 
stage in Sydney), not a matinee idol, 
and that seriousness is evidenced in his 
performances in films such as Tim, Galli- 
poli, and his latest, Peter Weir's The Year 
of Living Dangerously, in which he plays 
opposite Sigourney Weaver. 

Born in Peekskill, New York, in 1956, 
the son of a railway brakeman, Mel Gib- 
son emigrafed to Australia with his family 
—including ten brothers and sisters— in 
1968, where he quickly acquired an Aus- 
tralian accent. ("I figured the sooner I fit 
in," he says, “the better off I'd be.") White 
a sfudenf af the National Institute of 
Dramatic Arts, Gibson played a bit part ♦ 
in a l&w-budget beach movie before 
being cast by director George Milter in a 
violent revenge film called Mad Max. 
which went on to earn over a hundred 
million dollars in rentals at home and 
abroad. In fact. Mad Max was a tre- 
mendous success everywhere but in the 
U.S., where it was spottily distributed and 
where it became a cult film affer being 
aired on cable television. 

After the success of Mad Max, Gib- 
son proved that he could add critical 
acclaim to his popularity at the box of- 
fice with his performances in Tim, in 
which he played a refarded youth, and 
Gallipoli, in which he played a young 
adventurer who goes off to World War I 
in hope of glory. 

Gibson's performance in The Road 
Warrior (called Mad Max II everywhere 
but in the U.S.) has established him as an 
international star, Australia's first, and his 
performance in The Year of Living Dan- 
gerously should help him to retain that 

The actor, who makes his home in 
Sydney with his wife and three children, 
was in Manhattan recently to promote 
his latest film. 

TZ: How did you land the part in Mad 

Gibson; I was called to audition like a 
dozen others. George Milter's ideo of an 
audition is to have the actor tell him a 

Twilight Zone 25 

© 1983 Warner Bros, 

joke. I guess I must've told a good one. 
TZ: Why do you think Mad Max and The 
Road Warrior -M^ere so successful? 
Gibson: Because they're probably the 
classiest B-grade trash you'll ever see. It's 
the talent of George Miller. He turns trash 
into art. It's amazing. 

TZ: How long did it take to shoot the 

Gibson: Nine weeks for Mad Max and 
three months for The Road Warrior. 
Considering that George had not direct- 
ed a feature film before, I'd say that 
Mad Max was a major feat. 

TZ: Do you consider yourself American 
or Australian? 

Gibson: Well, I was born in New York, 
but I really grew up in Australia, a pro- 
cess which may not be over yet. Grow- 
ing up, I mean. 

TZ; How would you describe Peter Weir's 
film. The Year of Living Dangerousiy? 
Gibson; It's difficult, because the film 
operates on many levels. On one level, 
it's a love story set in Indonesia during 
the collapse of the Sukarno regima but 
tt's also about the clash between the 
East and the West. 

TZ; What is Peter Weir's greatest strength 
as a director? 

Gibson: His ability to communicate 
ideas through visual imagery. 

TZ; Has Hollywood beckoned since The 
Road Warrior? 

Gibson (frowning): I just escaped there. 
TZ; What will your next film be? 

Gibson: I don't know. I'm trying to be 
careful. I liked Mad Max and Road War- 
rior, but I don't want to be Mr. Action 

TZ; Then there's no chance that we'll be 
seeing you in Mad Max Hi? 

Gibson: No way. 


The final segment to be filmed was 
Spielberg's own, from a script by 
Richard Matheson based on George 
Clayton Johnson's Twilight Zone 
episode "Kick the Can." Appropriately 
for the director of E. T. , it's the gentlest 
and most touching of the four stories, 
a fantasy about old age and a magical 
return to youth. The episode stars 
Scatman Crothers, best known to film- 
goers as the ill-fated Halloran in 
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. 
Crothers also appeared in Silver 
Streak, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's 
Nest, and Lady Sings the Blues, as 
well as in the tv shows Chico and the 
Man and Roots. (Look for him, too, in 
the recently completed tv version of 

For Spielberg, who has deservedly 
earned a reputation as the Pied Piper 
of children's directors, it was his first 
occasion to work with true old-timers, 
and he claims to have noticed some re- 
markable similarities; 

"They both have trouble memoriz- 
ing their dialogue,"he says, "and yet 
they're both spontaneous beyond rea- ^ 
son. There's a real symbiosis that oc- | 
curs between young children from the , ^ 

ages of six to eleven and older people 
from the ages of seventy to ninety. 5, 
They both go back to a kind of natural 
daring — and that's what's wonderful h 
about working with them." fS b 

Late of The Shining, Indiana-born 
Scatman Crothers— who made his 
show-business debut as a slnger- 
drummer-gultarist in local speakeasies 
at the age of fourteen— stars in the 
segment based on “Kick the Can," in 
which the Inmates at an old-age 
home discover a miraculous way 
back to youth. 

Photo by Tom Tomosulo 

VC. Andrews 

& ‘all those beautifully 
bizarre little things’ 



The Dollanganger kids— Chris, Carrie, 
Cathy, and Corry. All fresh, all innocent, 
and all waiting for a revenge that they 
know will someday be theirs. For now, 
however, they sit in a damp, empty attic 
and wait. They wait not for days, buf for 

Such was the premise for a first 
novel written by a native of Portsmoufh, 
Virginia, a woman named Virginia Cleo 
Andrews. The book was called Flowers 
in the Attic and has surprised everyone 
in publishing with a sales total that 
recently approached the three-and-a- 
half-million mark. 

With this first novel, the lady from 
Virginia seemed on her way. And it 
came after a life of early promise: junior 
college art courses at the age of eight 
scholarship at fifteen, fledgling career as 
a fashion illustrator and commercial artist 
in her twenties. 

But it was also a life filled with pain: a 
r bad fall from a flight of stairs, four major 
operations, a mediocre crew of doctors, 
arthritis, paralysis. 

She wrote her second novel. Petals 
on the Wind, in much the same manner 
she had written her first standing for 

Twilight Zone 27 

VC. Andrews 

nearly twelve hours a day and writing 
until the numbness set In. The sale of that 
book totaled In the millions as well. 

The Dollanganger saga continued In 
1981 with If There Be Thorns. This book 
brought the total sales of the tragic 
trilogy past the eleven million mark. 

Now, with My Sweet Audrina, VC. 
Andrews leaves the kids momentarily 
and heads for higher ground, still clutch- 
ing, however, the safety ropes or ro- 
mance, horror, incest, fear. Audrina is as 
troubled, as angry, as confused, and as 
crazed as are any of fhe Dollangangers. 
Like the kids, she tries to lead her own 
lite, tries to escape the traps set on her 
by others but finds it all to be futile and 

The stories V.C. Andrews writes seem 
fitting for the woman she is and for fhe 
life she leads. Alone most of the day, she 
lives with her mother in Virginia Beach. 
Her life is dedicated to work, her work 
dedicated to the passing on of f^r. 

She dislikes interviews and doesn't 
hide the fact. She likes money and 
doesn't hide that either. She is a woman 
very conscious of the pubiic perception: 
the Gothic Queen, lonely, sickly, distrust- 
ful of strangers, passing the time thinking 
up the latest in evil and dementia. 

The midtown New York hotel room 
she was staying in was hot when 
photographer Tom Tomasulo and I 
entered. Andrews's mother greeted us 
and quickly disappeared to another 
room. A publicity man threw himself 
across the one bed, possibly as tired of 
interviews as his client. 

She looked straight at Tom and me, 
and in a voice of just the slightest 
Southern gentility, mixing nicely with our 
own urban paranoia, said: "I'll have my 
pictures taken standing up." 

We smiled. She didn't. As much in 
person as in her novels, VC. Andrews 
likes to keep people on edge, as far 
away from the truth, from the reality, as 

I stared at her, hoping for the slight- 
est hint of warmth, of humanity. I was 
given nothing in return. 

TZ: My Sweet Audrina is your first 
hardcover. Why the change from the 
original paperback form, where you 
were extremely successful, to a more 
expensive, riskier area of publishing? 
Andrews: It was purely my editor's 
decision. I would have been happier if 
all my books had come out in hard- 
cover, rather than just the fourth one. 
I guess it just wasn't meant to be. 

TZ: How difficult was it for you to get 
that first novel. Flowers in the Attic, 

Andrews: It wasn't difficult at all after 
I had it written well. I wrote it in two 
weeks. By that time, however, I had 
been writing for seven years and had 
written nine unpublished novels. 
Flowers was the sixth one on that list, 
while Petals on the Wind was the 
seventh. I had no intention at all, at 

that point, to write If There Be Thoms. 

I had submitted Flowers three 
times and almost had it sold once. 
That deal fell through because the pub- 
lisher wanted me to switch to the third 
person and 1 just didn't think that 
would work. So I put it on a shelf and 
wrote something else. 

I went back to it soon after that, 
because I felt it was just too good a 
book to be left sitting on a shelf col- 
lecting dust. I rewrote the whole book 
again, this time throwing in a whole 
lot more strange occurrences that 
weren't in the other versions. I guess 
it was those strange occurrences that 
sold the book. You know, all those 
beautifully bizarre little things. 

TZ: Why did you choose to write in 
the horror genre to begin with? 
Andrews: I don't think I write in the 
horror-type genre at all. 

TZ: What do you see it as, then? 
Andrews: Novels of portents, psycho- 
logical thrillers. Anything, anything at 
all but horror. I don't even like the use 
of the word. 

TZ: A large number of teenagers and 
pre-teens read your books. Are you 
concerned about the negative effects 
your writings may have on them? 
Andrews: I always read scary books 
when I was a child and it didn't do 
anything to me. I didn't go out and kill 
anyone or torture anyone. Besides, the 
kind of violence you're talking about 
doesn't exist in my books. I write 
about situations that simply don't 
come up in our everyday lives. The 
kinds of situations that would be vir- 
tually impossible to imitate or 

TZ: What is it about children that so 
fascinates you? 

Andrews: 1 don't think they fascinate 
me at all. I'm just telling a story about 
children and from their viewpoint. I 
can write about adults also. 

TZ: Did you envision the Flowers, 
Petals, and Thoms saga as a trilogy, or 
did it just happen to evolve that way? 
Andrews: It evolved. Flowers in the 
Attic was one book and Petals on the 
Wind was its sequel, and that was to 
be it. But when the demand was so 

huge and everybody was demanding to 
know what happened, the publisher 
asked me to do a third. I didn't really 
want to. I'd grown tired of the charac- 
ters. Then he offered me a certain sum 
which I considered rather large, and I 
decided to do it. 

TZ: Do you object at all to being 
labeled as a genre writer? 

Andrews: Yes. But, again, I don't 
think 1 fall into any particular genre. 
Any genre I may fall into is my own, 
one that I've started myself. I don't 
think that I'm another Stephen King, 
nor do I want to be. 

TZ: How good a writer are you when 
placed up against your contemporaries? 
Andrews: I don't think anybody else 
writes the same kind of stories I write 
in either the same style or with the 
same amount of substance. My books 
deal with realism, while some of the 
other writers tend to introduce the 
occult into their work. I don't go any- 
where near that territory. Some of the 
people those other writers are writing 
about don't seem to me to be real, 
don't seem to be people at all, just 
creations. I'm a much better writer 
than that. 

TZ: Is it unusual for a woman to be 
writing the kinds of books which you 

Andrews: I don't think men write well 
about women— which makes what I do 
refreshing since I can bring it out from 
a woman's point of view. They write 
about womer as they wish women 
were, not as they are. Women see 
themselves much more honestly than 
men see them. I don't write about men 
realistically, but only as I wish they 

But, to answer your question, I 

'‘Most critics are would-be writers 
who are just jealous because Fm 
getting published and they aren't. ” 

28 Twilight Zone 

don't think it unusual for a woman to 
be writing the types of books 1 write. 
Different, maybe, but not unusual. 

TZ: What do you think you do better 
than any other writer? 

Andrews: I think I'm really strong at 
emotions. I can make people feel. Most 
of my fan letters usually say things 
like, "I didn't know a book could 
make me cry," or "that a book could 
make me feel more than a movie or a 
television show." People can become 
more involved in one of my books 
than in anything they could possibly 
see in their movie theaters or sitting in 
their living rooms. 1 don't think that 
there are many writers who can do 
that, bring out those emotions, as well 
as I can. 

TZ: What don't you do well? What 
area of your writing needs the most 

Andrews: My critics should be able to 
answer that one quite easily. I certainly 
can't answer it. 

TZ: Is critical reaction important to 
the types of books that you do, since 
they seem to sell no matter what the 
critics say about them? 

Andrews: I don't care what the critics 
say. I used to, until I found out that 
most critics are would-be writers who 
are just jealous because I'm getting 
published and they aren't. I also don't 
think that anybody cares about what 
they say. Nor should they care. 

TZ: Do you have in your mind an 
idea of who exactly it is that buys your 
books? What kind of a person? 
Andrews: Strangely enough, I get a lot 
of photographs in my mail from young 
girls who read my books. They're 
about fourteen, they wear glasses, 
most of them have long hair, and most 
look like the characters I've written 
about. Except for the glasses. My char- 
acters don't wear glasses. 

TZ: Would you like to move your 
writing more into the mainstream, 
veering away from the work you now 
do on to something totally different? 
Andrews: I'd love to. 

TZ: What's stopping you? 

Andrews: My editor. There's a lot of 
pressure placed on me to keep writing 
thrillers or chillers or whatever they are. 

I don't know how to describe them. 

TZ: Is your day broken into any spe- 
cific work pattern or set routine? 
Andrews: No. I dress in the morning 
a's if I were on my way to work. Then 
I go write, and I write until somebody 
tells me it's time to eat. If no one told 

me to eat, I wouldn't eat. Then I go 
back and write some more and stop 
when someone calls me for dinner. 
After dinner I go back and write until 
I'm so tired that I have to quit. The 
next day, I start all over again. 

When I'm writing, I find myself 
working day after day after day. It's 
my work, but it's also what I have the 
most fun doing. 

TZ: How long does it take you to 
complete a novel? 

Andrews: My Sweet Audrina took a 
little longer because I was learning to 
use a word processor. Once I learned 
to use the machine and not lose every- 
thing I was writing, it took about five 

TZ: Do you rewrite a great deal? 
Andrews: Yes. I do about three or 
four drafts, starting with very short 
drafts and working my way up to 
novel-length ones. 

TZ: Does the fact that you live a 
somewhat secluded life help or hinder 
your work? 

Andrews: I don't think it matters 
where you live, so long as you have a 
place to be alone. I don't look out the 
window much when I write. I just stare 
at that screen and type out the words. 
TZ: There is, however, an image of 
you being a reclusive person. How 
much of that is true? 

Andrews: All my friends laugh at that 
image. I don't think I'm a recluse. I 

Inside the Mind of a Psychopath . . . 

“Now you be a good little 
girl and keep on playing with 
your rubber ducky and boat," 
said Emma to Cindy. “Emma will 
be right back.” 

My head lifted before I 
began to wiggle on my belly 
on the ground. The brat in the 
pool stood up and took off her 
bathing suit. Stark naked and 
bold she hurled her wet suit at 
me, then teased and laughed 
and tormented me with her 
bare flesh. Then, as if bored 
with my reaction, she sat again 
in the shallow water and stared 
down at herself with a secret 
little smile. Wicked! Shameless! 
Imagine her showing her pri- 
vate parts to me. 

Mothers should treat their 
daughters how to act decent, 
proper, modest. My mother was 
just like Corrine, whom John 
Amos had said was weak and 
never punished her children 
enough. “Yes, Bart, your grand- 
mother ruined her children, and 
now they live in sin and flaunt 
God and his moral rules!” 

I guess it was up to me to 
teach Cindy a lesson about 
modesty and shame. Forward I 
wiggled. Now I had her atten-' 
tion. Her blue eyes opened 
wide. Her rosy full lips parted. At 
first she seemed happy that 
finally I was gonna ploy kiddy 

games with her. Then, some- 
thing wise put fright in her eyes. 
She froze and made me think 
of a timid rabbit scared by a 
vicious snake. Snake. Much bet- 
ter to be a snake than a cat. 
Snake in The Garden of Eden 
doing unto Eve what should 
have been done in the begin- 
ning. Lo, said the Lord when he 
spied Eve In her nakedness, 
go forth from Eden and let the 
world hurl their stones. 

Hissing and flicking my 
tongue in and out, I edged 
closer. Was the Lord who spoke 
and I who obeyed. Wicked 
mother who refused to punish 
had made me what I was, an 
evil snake willing to do the 
Lord’s bidding, even if it wasn’t 
my own way. 

I tried to flatten my head 
with willpower and make it 
small, flat and reptilelike. Tears 
came to Cindy’s huge, scared 
eyes, and she b^an to bawl 
as she tried to wiggle over the 
rounded rim of the wading 
pool. The water wasn’t deep 
enough for a little girl to drown 
in, or else Emma wouldn’t have 
left her alone. 

But ... if a boa constrictor 
from Brazil was on the loose— 
what chance did a two-year- 
old have? 

—from If There Be Thorns (1981) 

Twilight Zone 29 

Reprinted by permission of Pocket Books. 

Thomas Swick 

VC. Andrews 

just don't like to be bothered when I'm 

TZ: Why do you think people are still 
fascinated with the subject matter you 
choose to write about? 

Andrews: I think there is something in 
all of us that just likes to be scared, 
something that takes you out of your 
own life. It gives you the feeling that> 
while things may be bad for you, 
they're much worse for the character 
you're reading about. You can then 
come back into your own life with a 
sense of relief. People love to be fright- 
ened. Many of my readers tell me they 
sit tense on the chair or sofa as they 
turn the pages. They love it. 

TZ: Is the field you write in, thriller, 
horror, whatever, too cluttered, with 
far too many people writing the same 
kinds of books? 

Andrews: I don't read those kinds of 
books, so I'm really not the one to ask. 
I know that only a few of the writers 
stand out, most of whom I don't like, 
but I don't think I should mention 
their names. 

TZ: Did you begin writing novels us- 
ing the initials V. C. to hide the fact 
that you're a woman, to give the 
books another touch of mystery? 
Andrews: I wish I could say that was 
true, but it was strictly an editorial 

would read all of my father's books. I 
read all the time. By the time I was 
seven years old, I had decided to be- 
come a writer. I just couldn't wait to 
sit down and write stories for people to 

‘7 don 7 think that Fm another 
Stephen King, nor do I want to be. ” 

decision. They didn't ask me for my 

TZ: What is your opinion? 

Andrews: My opinion is that I want 
my whole name on the book. 

TZ: Very little is known about your 
childhood. Can you briefly tell me 
what kind of a childhood you had? 
Andrews: In other words, did I have a 
miserable childhood? 

TZ: Not necessarily. Just what were 
you like as a child? 

Andrews: I was someone who loved 
books. I read as many as the library 
would let me take home, and then I 

TZ: You were an artist for a while, 
weren't you? 

Andrews: Yes, but not a very success- 
ful one. I could barely eke out a living. 
I also was not very satisfied with the 
form, with the medium. I won quite a 
few awards, but I wasn't making any 

TZ: How long have you been in a 
wheelchair? How long have you been 

Andrews: Everyone seems to think I 
never leave this chair, but I do get out 
of it. I've been this way now for about 
ten years. 

TZ: What caused it? 

Andrews: I had a fall and in order to 
save myself from breaking my neck — I 
was falling down a flight of stairs — I 
twisted around and grabbed the ban- 
ister. In so doing 1 tore the membrane 
and the long bone. The doctors didn't 
believe I was in any pain and kept 
sending me home. This caused the tear 
to heal improperly, and it led to my 
having arthritis. I was in such pain 
that for seven years I could hardly 
stand, let alone walk across the hall. 
TZ: Do you think the accident you've 
had has in any way affected the way 
you look at life or the type of work 
you do? 

Andrews: That's difficult to answer. 
How would I know unless I'd lived 
another kind of life? I suppose it's 
bound to; anything you experience af- 
fects the way you write. 

TZ: Do you have another project lined 

Andrews: I'm working on the fourth 
Dollanganger book. 

TZ: Watch out! 

Andrews: You better believe it. I've 
done five chapters thus far, and it's 
better than anything I've ever written. 
TZ: Do you need any special equip- 
ment to do your work? 

Andrews: Not really. For years I used 
to stand up and write, because at the 
angle I'm sitting in the chair I can't see 
the type. I would have to tilt the type- 
writer. But now, with the word proces- 
sor, I don't need to stand. 

TZ: Does it hurt for you to work, to 

Andrews: You don't know it hurts un- 
til you're finished. Then there's a great 
deal of pain. You never get used to the 

TZ: Does your paralysis further aug- 
ment that image of you as the lonely, 
battered woman writing novels of 
death and doom? 

Andrews: To the people who don't 
know me it does, and it may have 
helped sell a few more copies of my 
books than would normally have been 
sold. But to my friends, that's all one 
big joke. 

TZ: What do you do to break from 
writing stories that scare most of the 
people who read them? 

Andrews: I go shopping. I also love to 
play games — chess, backgammon, that 
sort of thing. I like movies and the 
ballet also, but mostly I shop and play 

TZ: As a beginning writer, did you 
ever feel like giving up? Did you tire of 
the constant rejections? 

Andrews: No. I was addicted to it. I 
was determined to be successful and I 
worked as hard as I could to be so. I 
would never have given up. Never. It's 
just not in me. 

TZ: Do you enjoy this part of what 
has become the writer's job — selling the 

Andrews: No. I see it totally as an in- 
vasion of privacy. Everyone seems to 
want to know all your deep dark 
secrets. Even you. 

TZ: I haven't asked you about any of 
your secrets. 

Andrews: No, but I'll bet you'd just 
love to. iQ 

the new novel by 

Peter Straub 

author of GHOST STORY 

* Cosmo 

$15.95, nowat G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS 

your bookstore A Member of The Putnam Publishing Group 

Illustration by David Klein 







I t was forty miles from Horlicks University in Pitts- 
burgh to Cascade Lake, and although dark comes 
early to that part of the world in October, and 
although they didn't get going until six o'clock, there 
was still a little light in the sky when they got there. 
They had come in Deke's Camaro. Deke didn't waste 
any time when he was sober. After a couple of beers, 
he made that Camaro walk and talk. 

He had hardly brought the car to a stop at the 
pole fence between the parking lot and the beach 
before he was out of the Camaro and pulling off his 
shirt. His eyes were scanning the water for the raft. 
Randy got out of the shotgun seat, a little reluctantly. 
This had been his idea, true enough; but he had never 
expected Deke to take it seriously. The girls were mov- 
ing around in the back seat, getting ready to get out. 

Twilight Zone 33 

1982 by Stephen King 



Deke's eyes scanned the water restlessly, side to 
side (sniper's eyes, Randy thought uncomfortably), and 
then fixed on a point. 

"It's there!" he shouted, slapping the hood of the 
Camaro. "Just like you said, Randy! Last one in's a 
rotten egg!" 

"Deke — " Randy began, resetting his glasses on 
his nose; but that was all he bothered with, because 
Deke was vaulting the fence and running down the 
beach, not looking back at Randy or Rachel or 
LaVerne, only looking out at the raft, which was an- 
chored about fifty yards out on the lake. 

Randy looked around, as if to apologize to the 
girls for getting them into this; but they were looking 
at Deke. Rachel looking at him was all right — Rachel 
was his girl — but LaVerne was looking at him too, and 
Randy felt a hot momentary spark of jealousy that got 
him moving. He peeled off his own sweat shirt, dropped 
it beside Deke's, and hopped over the fence. 

"Randy!" LaVerne called, and he only pulled his 
arm forward through the gray twilit October air in a 
come-on gesture, hating himself a little for doing it. 
She was -unsure now, perhaps ready to cry it off. The 
idea of an October swim in the deserted lake wasn't 
just part of a comfortable, well-lighted bull session in 
the apartment he and Deke shared anymore. He liked 
her, but Deke was stronger. And damned if she didn't 
have the hots for Deke, and damned if it wasn't 

Deke unbuckled his jeans, still running, and 
pushed them off his lean hips. He somehow got out of 
them all the way without stopping, a feat Randy could 
not have duplicated in a thousand years. Deke ran on, 
now only wearing bikini briefs, the muscles in his back 
and buttocks working gorgeously. Randy was more 
than aware of his own skinny shanks as he dropped his 
Levis and clumsily shook them free of his feet. With 
Deke it was ballet; with him it was burlesque. 

Deke hit the water and bellowed, "Cold! Mother 
of Jesus!" 

Randy hesitated, but only in his mind, where 
things took longer. That water's forty-five degrees, 
fifty at most, his mind told him. Your heart could stop. 
He was pre-med; he knew that was true . . . but in the 
physical world he didn't hesitate at all. He leaped in, 
and for a moment his heart did stop, or seemed to; his 
breath clogged in his throat; and he had to force a gasp 
of air into his lungs as all his submerged skin went 
numb. This is crazy, he thought; and then. But 
it was your idea, Pancho. He began to stroke after 

The two girls looked at each other for a mo- 
ment. LaVerne shrugged and grinned. "If they can, we 
can," she said, stripping off her LaCoste shirt to reveal 
an almost transparent bra. "Aren't girls supposed to 
have an extra layer of fat?" 

Then she was over the fence and running for the 

water, unbuttoning her cords. After a moment Rachel 
followed her, much as Randy had followed Deke. 

T he girls had come over to the apartment at 
mid-afternoon — on Tuesdays, a one o'clock 
was the latest class any of them had. Deke's 
monthly allotment had come in — one of the football- 
mad alumni (the players called them angels) saw that 
he got two hundred a month in cash — and there was a 
case of beer in the fridge and a new Triumph album on 
Randy's battered stereo. The four of them set about 
getting pleasantly oiled. After a while, the talk had 
turned to the end of the long Indian summer they had 
been enjoying. The radio was predicting flurries for 
Wednesday. (LaVerne had advanced the opinion that 
weathermen predicting snow flurries in October should 
be shot, and no one had disagreed.) 

Rachel said that summers seemed to last forever 
when she was a girl; but now that she was an adult ("a 
doddering, senile, old nineteen," Deke joked, and she 
kicked his ankle), they got shorter every year. "It 
seemed like I spent my life out at Cascade Lake," she 
said, crossing the decayed kitchen linoleum to the ice- 
box. She peered in, found an Iron City Light hiding be- 
hind a stack of blue Tupperware storage boxes (the one 
in the middle contained some nearly prehistoric chili, 
which was now thickly festooned with mold; Randy 
was a good student and Deke was a good football 
player, but neither of them was worth a fart in a noise- 
maker when it came to housekeeping), and appropri- 
ated it. "I can still remember the first time I managed 
to swim all the way out to the raft. I sat there for 
damn near two hours, scared to swim back." 

She sat down next to Deke, who put an arm 
around her. She smiled, remembering, and Randy sud- 
denly thought she looked like someone famous or 
semi-famous. He couldn't quite place the resemblance. 
It would come to him later, under less pleasant 

"Finally, my brother had to swim out and tow 
me back on an inner tube. God, he was mad. And I 
had a sunburn like you wouldn't believe." 

"The raft's still out there." Randy said, mainly 
just to say something. He was aware that LaVerne had 
been looking at Deke again; lately it seemed like she 
looked at Deke a lot. 

But now she looked at him. "It's almost Hallow- 
een, Randy. Cascade Beach has been closed since Labor 

"Raft's still out there, though," Randy said. "We 
were on the other side of the lake on a geology field 
trip about three weeks ago and I saw it then. It looked 
like ..." He shrugged. "... a little bit of summer that 
somebody forgot to clean up and put away in the 
closet until next year." 

He thought they would laugh at that, but no 
one did — not even Deke. 

34 Twilight Zone 

When he had first 
seen it, 

the patch had been 
maybe forty yards from 
the raft. Now it was 
only half that distance. 

"Just because it was there last year doesn't mean 
it's still there," La Verne said. 

"I mentioned it to a guy," Randy said, finishing 
his own beer. "Billy DeLois. Do you remember him, 

Deke nodded. "Played second-string until he got 


"Yeah, him. Anyway, he comes from out that 
way, and he said the guys who own the beach never 
take it in until the lake's almost ready to freeze. Just 
lazy — at least, that's what he said. He said that some 
year they'd wait too long and it would get ice-locked." 
■ He fell silent, remembering how the raft had 
looked, anchored out there on the lake — a square of 
bright white wood in all that bright blue autumn 
water. He remembered how the sound of the barrels 
under it — that buoyant clunk-clunk sound — had drifted 
up to them. The sound was soft, but sounds carried 
well on the still air around the lake. There had been 
that sound and the sound of crows squabbling over the 
remnants of some farmer's harvested garden. 

"Snow tomorrow," Rachel said, getting up as 
Deke's hand wandered almost absently down to the 
upper swell of her breast. She went to the window and 
looked out. "What a bummer." 

"I'll tell you what," Randy said, "let's go on out 
to Cascade Lake. We'll swim out to the raft, say good- 
bye to summer, and then swim back." 

If he hadn't been half-loaded he never would have 
made the suggestion, and he certainly didn't expect 
anyone to take it seriously. But Deke jumped on it. 

"All right!" he shouted, making LaVerne jump 
and spill her beer. But she smiled — the smile made 
Randy a little uneasy. "Let's do it!" 

"Deke, you're crazy," Rachel said, also smiling 
— but her smile looked a little tentative, a little 

"No, I'm going to do it," Deke said, going for 
his coat; and, with a mixture of dismay and excite- 
ment, Randy noted Deke's grin — reckless and a little 
crazy. The two of them had been rooming together for 
three years now — the Jock and the Brain, Cisco and 
Pancho, Batman and Robin — and Randy recognized 
ihat grin. Deke wasn't kidding; he meant to do it. 

Forget it, Cisco — not me. The words rose to his 
lips, but before he could say them LaVerne was on her 

feet, the same cheerful, loony look in her eyes (or 
maybe it was just too much beer). "I'm up for it!" she 

"Then let's go!" Deke looked at Randy. "What- 
choo say, Pancho?" 

He had looked at Rachel for a moment then, 
and saw something almost frantic in her eyes — as far as 
he himself was concerned, Deke and LaVerne could go 
out to Cascade Lake together and plow the back forty 
all night. He would not be delighted with the 
knowledge that they were boffing each other's brain 
out, yet neither would he be surprised. But the look in 
her eyes, that haunted look — 

"Oh, Ceesco!" he cried. He-and Deke slapped 


R andy was halfway to the raft when he saw the 
black patch on the water. It was beyond the 
raft and to the left of it, more out toward the 
middle of the lake. Five minutes later, the light would 
have failed too much for him to tell if it was anything 
more than a shadow ... if he had seen it at all. Oil 
slick? he thought, still pulling hard through the water, 
faintly aware of the girls splashing behind him. But 
what would an oil slick be doing on an October 
deserted lake? And it was oddly circular, small, surely 
no more than five feet in diameter — 

"Whoooo!" Deke shouted again, and Randy 
looked toward him. Deke was climbing the -ladder on 
the side of the raft, shaking off water like a dog. * 
"Howya doon, Pancho?" 

"Okay!" he called back, pulling harder. It really 
wasn't as bad as he had thought it might be, not once 
you got in and got moving. His body tingled with 
warmth and now his motor was in overdrive. He could 
feel his heart putting out good revs, heating him from 
the inside out. His folks had a place on Cape Cod, and 
the water there was worse than this in mid-July. 

"You think it's bad now, Pancho, wait'll you get 
out!" Deke yelled gleefully. He was hopping up and 
down, making the raft rock, rubbing his body. 

Randy forgot about the oil slick until his hands 
actually grasped the rough, white-painted wood of the 
ladder on the shore side. Then he saw it again. It was 
a little closer. A round, dark patch on the water, like a 
big mole, rising and falling on the mild waves. When 
he had first seen it, the patch had been maybe forty 
yards from the raft. Now it was only half that 

How can that be? How — 

Then he came out of the water and the cold air 
bit his skin, bit it even harder than the water had when 
he first dived irr. "Ohhhhh, shit!" he yelled, laughing, 
shivering in his jockey shorts. 

"Pancho, you arsehole," Deke said happily. He 
pulled Randy up. "Cold enough for you? You sober 


Twilight Zone 35 



"I'm sober! I'm sober!" He began to jump 
around as Deke had done, clapping his arms across his 
chest and stomach in an X. They turned to look at the 

Rachel had pulled ahead of LaVerne, who was , 
doing something that looked like a dog paddle per- 
formed by a dog with bad instincts. 

"You ladies okay?" Deke bellowed. 

"Go to hell. Macho City!" LaVerne called, and 
Deke broke up again. 

Randy glanced to the side and saw that odd cir- 
cular patch was even closer — ten yards now, and still 
coming. It floated on the water, round and regular, 
like the top of a large steel drum; but the limber way it 
rode the swells made it clear that it was not the surface 
of a solid object. A sudden fear, directionless but 
powerful, seized him. 

"Swim!" he shouted at the girls, and bent down 
to grasp Rachel's hand as she reached the ladder. He 
hauled her up. She bumped her knee hard — he heard 
the thud of her thinly clad flesh against wood. 

"Ow! Hey! What — " « 

LaVerne was still ten feet away. Randy glanced 
to the side again and saw the round thing nuzzle the 
offside of the raft. The thing was as dark as oil, but he 
was sure it wasn't oil — it was too dark, too thick, too 

"Randy, that hurt! What are you doing, being 

fun — " 

"LaVerne! Swim!" Now it wasn't just fear; now 
it was terror. 

LaVerne looked up, maybe not hearing the ter- 
ror, but at least hearing the urgency. She looked puz- 
zled, but she dog-paddled faster, closing the distance to 
the ladder. 

"Randy, what's wrong with you?" Deke asked. 

Randy looked to the side again and saw the 
thing fold itself around the raft's square corner. For a 
moment it looked like a Pac-Man image with its mouth 
open to eat electronic cookies. Then it slipped all the 
way around the corner and began to slide along the 
raft, one of its edges, now straight. 

"Help me get her up!" Randy grunted to Deke, 
and reached for her hand. "Quick!" 

Deke shrugged good-naturedly and reached for 
LaVerne's other hand. They pulled her up and onto the 
raft's board surface bare seconds before the black thing 
slid by the ladder, its sides dimpling as it slipped past 
the ladder's uprights. 

"Randy, have you gone crazy?" LaVerne was 
out of breath, a little frightened. Her nipples were 
clearly visible through the bra. They stood out in cold 
hard points. 

"That thing," Randy said, pointing. "Deke? 
What is it?" 

Deke spotted it. It had reached the left-hand 
corner of the raft. It drifted off a little to one side. 

“It went for the girls,” 
Randy said. 

“Come on, 

Poncho. I thought you 
said you got sober.” 

“It went for the girls,” 
he repeated, stubbornly, 
and thought. No one 
knows we’re here. 

No one at all. 

reassuming its round shape. It simply floated there. 
The four of them looked at it. 

"Oil slick, I guess," Deke said. 

'Tou really racked my knee," Rachel said, 
glancing at the dark thing on the water and then back 
at Randy. "You — " 

"It's not an oil slick," Randy said. "Did you 
ever see a round oil slick? That thing looks like a 

"I never saw an oil slick at all," Deke replied. 
He was talking to Randy but he was looking at 
LaVerne. LaVerne's panties were almost as transparent 
as her bra, the delta of her sex sculpted neatly in silk, 
each buttock a taut crescent. "I don't even believe in 
them. I'm from Missouri." 

"I'm going to bruise," Rachel said, but the anger 
had gone out of her voice. She had seen Deke looking 
at LaVerne. 

"God, I'm cold," LaVerne said. She shivered 

"It went for the girls," Randy said. 

"Come on, Pancho. I thought you said you got 


"It went for the girls," he repeated, stubbornly, 
and thought. No one knows we're here. No one at all. 

"Have you ever seen an oil slick, Pancho?" He 
had put his arm around LaVerne's bare shoulders in the 
same almost-absent way that he had touched Rachel's 
breast earlier that day. He wasn't touching LaVerne's 
breast — not yet, anyway — but his hand was close. 
Randy found he didn't care much, one way or another. 
That black, circular patch on the water. He cared 
about that. 

"I saw one on the Cape four years ago," he 

36 Twilight Zone 

said. "We all pulled birds out of the surf and tried to 
clean them off — " 

"Ecological, Pancho," Deke said approvingly. 
"Mucho ecological, I theenk." 

Randy said, "It was just this big, sticky mess all 
over the water. In streaks and big smutches. It didn't 
look like that. It wasn't, you know, compact." 

It looked like an accident, he wanted to say. 
That thing doesn't look like an accident; it looks like 
it’s on purpose. 

"I want to go back now," Rachel said. She was 
still looking at Deke and LaVerne, and Randy saw dull 
hurt in her face. He doubted if she knew it showed so 
clearly— on second thought, he doubted if she knew it 
was there at all. 

"So go," LaVerne said. There was a look on her 
face — the clarity of absolute triumph, Randy thought, 
and if the thought seemed pretentious, it also seemed 
exactly right. The expression was not aimed precisely 
at Rachel . . . but neither was LaVerne trying to hide it 
from the other girl. 

She moved a step closer to Deke; a step was all 
there was. Now their hips touched lightly. For one 
brief moment, Randy's attention passed from the thing 
floating on the water and focused with an almost ex- 
quisite hate on LaVerne. Although he had never hit a 
girl, in that one moment he could have hit her with 
real pleasure. Not because he loved her (he had been a 
little infatuated with her, yes, and more than a little 
horny for her, yes, and a lot jealous when she had 
begun to come on to Deke back at the apartment, oh 
■yes, but he wouldn't have brought a girl he actually 
loved within fifteen miles of Deke), but because 
he knew that expression on Rachel's face — how that 

expression felt inside. 

"I'm afraid," Rachel said. 

"Of an oil slick?" LaVerne asked incredulously, 
and then laughed. The urge to hit her swept over Ran- 
dy again — to just swing a big roundhouse openhanded 
blow through the air, to wipe that look of half-assed 
hauteur from her face and leave a mark on her cheek 
that would bruise in the shape of a hand. 

"Let's see you swim back, then," Randy said. 

LaVerne smiled indulgently at him. "I'm not 
ready to go," she said, as if explaining to a child. She 
looked up at the sky, then at Deke. "I want to watch 
the stars come out." 

Rachel was a short girl, pretty, but in a gamine, 
slightly insecure way that made Randy think of New 
York girls — hurrying to work in the morning, wearing 
their smartly tailored skirts with slits in the front or up 
one side, wearing that same look of slightly neurotic 
prettiness. Rachel's eyes always sparkled, but it was 
hard to tell if it was good cheer that lent them that 
lively look or just free-floating anxiety. 

Deke's tastes usually ran more to tall girls with 
dark hair and sleepy sloe eyes, and Randy saw it was 
now over between Deke and Rachel— whatever there 
had been, something simple and maybe a little boring 
on his part, something deep and complicated and prob- 
ably painful on hers. It was over, so cleanly and sud- 
denly that Randy almost heard the snap: a sound like 
dry kindling broken over a knee. ^ 

He was a shy b'?)y, but he moved next to Rachel 
now and put an arm around her. She glanced up at 
him briefly, her face unhappy but grateful for his 
gesture, and he was glad he had improved the situation 
for her a little. That similarity bobbed into his mind 
again. Something in her face, her looks . . . 

He first associated it with tv game shows, then 
with commercials for crackers or wafers or some damn 
thing. It came to him then — she looked like Sandy 
Duncan, the actress who had played in the revival of 
Peter Pan on Broadway. 

"What is that thing?" she asked. "Randy? What 
is it?" . 

"I don't know." 

He glanced at Deke and saw Deke looking at 
him with that familiar smile that was more living fa- 
miliarity than contempt . . . but the contempt was 
there, too. Maybe Deke didn't even know it, but it 
was. The expression said. Here goes oV worrywart 
Randy, pissing in his didies again. It was supposed to 
make Randy mumble an addition — It's probably 
nothing. Don't worry about it, it’ll go away. Some- 
thing like that.^He didn't. Let Deke smile. The black 
patch on the water scared him. That was the truth. 

Rachel stepped away from Randy and knelt 
prettily on the corner of the raft closest to the thing, 
and for a moment she triggered an even clearer 
memory association: the girl on the White Rock soda 

Twilight Zone 37 



labels. Sandy Duncan on the White Rock labels, his 
mind amended. Her hair, a close-cropped, slightly 
coarse blonde, lay wetly against her finely shaped 
skull. He could see goosebumps on her shoulder 
blades, above the white band of her bra. 

"Don't fall in, Rache," LaVerne said with bright 


"Quit it, LaVerne," Deke said, still smiling. 

Randy looked from them, standing in the mid- 
dle of the raft with their arms loosely around each 
other's waist, hips touching lightly, and back at 
Rachel. Alarm raced down his spine and out through 
his nerves like fire. The black patch had halved the 
distance between it and the corner of the raft where 
Rachel was kneeling and looking at it. It had been six 
or eight feet away before. Now the distance was three 
feet or less. And he saw a strange look in her eyes, a 
round blankness that seemed queerly like the round 
blankness of the thing in the water. 

Now it's Sandy Duncan sitting on a White Rock 
label and pretending to be hypnotized by the rich, 
delicious flavor of Nabisco* Honey Grahams, he 
thought idiotically, feeling his heart speed up as it had 
in the water, and he called out, "Get away from there, 

Then everything happened very fast — things 
happened with the rapidity of fireworks going off. And 
yet he saw and heard each thing with perfect, hellish 
clarity. Each thing seemed caught in its own little 

LaVerne laughed — on the quad in a bright after- 
noon hour it might have sounded like any college girl's 
laugh, but out here, in the growing dark, it sounded 
like the arid cackle of a witch making magic in a pot. 

"Rachel, maybe you better get b — " Deke said, 
but she interrupted him, almost surely for the first time 
in her life, and indubitably for the last. 

"It has colors!" she cried in a voice of utter, 
trembling wonder. Her eyes stared at the black patch 
on the water with blank rapture, and for just a mo- 
ment Randy thought he saw what she was talking 
about — colors, yeah, colors, swirling in rich, inward- 
turning spirals. Then they were gone, and there was 
only dull, lusterless black again. "Such beautiful 


She reached for it — out and down — her white 
arm, marbled with gooseflesh, her hand, held out to it, 
meaning to touch; he saw she had bitten her nails ragged. 


He sensed the raft tilt in the water as Deke moved 
toward them. He reached for Rachel at the same time, 
meaning to pull her back, dimly aware that he didn't 
want Deke to be the one to do it. 

Then Rachel's hand touched the water — her 
forefinger only, sending out one delicate ripple in a 
ring — and the black patch surged over it. Randy heard 

her gasp in air, and suddenly the blankness left her 
eyes. What replaced it was agony. 

The black, viscous substance ran up her arm 
like mud . . . and under it; Randy saw her skin dissolv- 
ing. She opened her mouth and screamed. At the same 
moment she began to tilt outward. She waved her 
other hand blindly at Randy and he grabbed for it. 
Their fingers brushed. Her eyes met his, and she still 
looked hellishly like Sandy Duncan. Then she fell 
clumsily outward and splashed into the water. 

The black thing flowed over the spot where she 
had landed. 

“What happened?" LaVerne was screaming 
behind them. "What happened? Did she fall in? What 
happened to her?" 

Randy made as if to dive in after her and Deke 
pushed him backward with casual force. "No," he said 
in a frightened voice that was utterly unlike Deke. 

All three of them saw her flail to the surface. 
Her arms came up, waving — no, not arms. One arm. 
The other was covered with a grotesque black mem- 
brane that hung in flaps and folds from something red 
and knitted with tendons, something that looked a lit- 
tle like a rolled roast of beef. 

"Help!" Rachel screamed. Her eyes glared at 
them, away from them, at them, away — her eyes were 
like lanterns being waved aimlessly in the dark. She 
beat the water into a froth. "Help it hurts please help it 

Randy had fallen when Deke pushed him. Now 
he got up from the boards of the raft and stumbled 
forward again, unable to ignore that voice. He tried to 
jump in and Deke grabbed him, wrapping his big arms 
around Randy's thin chest. 

"No, she's dead," he whispered harshly. "Christ, 
can't you see that? She's dead, Pancho." 

Thick blackness suddenly poured across Rachel's 
face like a drape, and her screams were first muffled 
and then cut off entirely. Now the black stuff seemed 
to bind her in crisscrossing ropes — or strands of spider- 
webbing. Randy could see it sinking into her like acid, 
and when her jugular vein gave way in a dark, pump- 
ing jet, he saw the thing send out a pseudopod after 
the escaping blood. He could not believe what he was 
seeing, could not understand it . . . but there was no 
doubt, no sensation of losing his mind, no belief that 
he was dreaming or hallucinating. 

LaVerne was screaming. Randy turned to look 
at her just in time to see her slap a hand melodrama- 
tically over her eyes like a silent movie heroine. He 
thought he would laugh and tell her this, but found he 
could not make a sound. 

He looked back at Rachel. Rachel was almost 
not there anymore. 

Her struggles had weakened to the point where 
they were really no more than spasms. The blackness 
oozed over her — bigger now, Randy thought, it's 

38 Twilight Zone 

Thick blackness suddenly 
poured across Rachel’s 
face like a drape, 
and her screams were 
first muffled and then 
cut off entirely. 

bigger, no question about it — with mute, muscular 
power. He saw her hand beat at it; saw the hand be- 
come stuck, as if in molasses or on flypaper; saw it 
consumed. Now there was a sense of her form only, 
not in the water but in the black thing, not turning 
but being turned, the form becoming less recogniz- 
able, a white flash — bone, he thought sickly, and 
turned away, vomiting helplessly over the side of the 

La Verne was still screaming. Then there was a 
dull whap! She stopped screaming and began to 

He hit her, Randy thought. I was going to do 
that, remember? 

He stepped back, wiping his mouth, feeling 
weak and ill. And scared. So scared he could think 
with only one tiny wedge of his mind. Soon he would 
begin to scream himself. Then Deke would have to 
slap him, Deke wouldn't panic, oh no,. Deke was hero 
material for sure. You gotta be a football hero ... to 
get along with the beautiful girls, his mind sang, 
cheerfully. Then he could hear Deke talking to him 
dimly, and he looked up at the sky, trying to clear his 
head, trying desperately to put away the vision of 
Rachel's form becoming blobbish and inhuman as that 
black thing ate her, not wanting Deke to slap him the 
way he had slapped LaVerne. 

He looked up at the sky and saw the first stars 
shining up there — the shape of the Dipper already clear 
as the last white light faded out of the west. It was 
nearly seven-thirty, 

"Oh, Ceesco," he managed. "We are in beeg 
trouble thees time, I theenk." 

"What is it?" His hand fell on Randy's shoulder, 
gripping and twisting painfully. "It ate her, did you see 
that? It ate her, it fucking ate her up! What is it?" 

"I don't know. Didn't you hear me before?" 

"You're supposed to know, you're a fucking 
brain-ball, you take all the fucking science courses!" 
Now Deke was almost screaming himself, and that 
helped Randy get a little more control. 

"There's nothing like that in any science book I 
ever read," Randy told him. "The last time I saw 
anything like that was the Halloween shock-show 
down at the Rialto when I was twelve." 

The thing had regained its round shape now. It 
floated on the water ten feet from the raft. 

"It's bigger," LaVerne moaned. 

When Randy had first seen it, he had guessed its 
diameter at about five feet. Now it had to be at least 
eight feet across. 

"It's bigger because it ate Rachel!" LaVerne 
cried, and began to scream again. 

"Stop that or I'm going to break your jaw," 
Deke said, and she stopped — not all at once, but wind- 
ing down the way a record does when somebody turns 
off the juice without taking the needle off the disc. Her 
eyes were huge things. 

Deke looked back at Randy. "You all right, 

"I don't know. I guess so." 

"My man." Deke tried to smile, and Randy saw 
with some alarm that he was succeeding — was some 
part of Deke enjoying this? "You don't have any idea 
at all what it might be?" 

Randy shook his head. Maybe it was an oil 
slick, after all ... or had been, until something had 
happened to it. Maybe cosmic rays had hit it in a cer- 
tain way. Or maybe Arthur Godfrey had pissed atomic 
Bisquick all over it. Who knew? Who could know? 

"Can we swim past it, do you think?" Deke per- 
sisted, shaking Randy's shoulder. 

"No!" LaVerne shrieked. 

"Stop it or I'm gonna smoke you, LaVerne," 
Deke said, raising his voice for the first time. "I'm not 

"You saw how fast it took Rachel," Randy said. 

"Maybe it was hungry then," Deke answered. 
"But maybe now it's full." 

Randy thought of Rachel kneeling there on the 
comer of the raft, so still and pretty in her bra and 
panties, and felt his gorge rise again. 

"You try it," he said to Deke. 

Deke grinned humorlessly. "Oh, Pancho." 

"Oh, Ceesco." 

"I want to go home," LaVerne said in a furtive 
whisper. "Okay?" 

Neither of them replied. 

"So we wait for it to go away," Deke said. "It 
came, it'll go away." 

"Maybe," Randy said. 

Deke looked at him, his face full of a fierce con- 
centration in the gloom. "Maybe? What's this 'maybe' 

"We came, and it came. I saw it come — like it 
smelled us. If it's full, like you say, it'll go. I guess. If it 
still wants chow — " he shrugged. 

Deke stood thoughtfully, head bent. His short 
hair was still dripping a little. 

"We waitj' he said. "Let it eat fish." 

F ifteen minutes passed. They didn't talk. It got 
colder. It was maybe fifty degrees and all three 
of them were in their underwear. After the 
first ten minutes, Randy could hear the brisk, intermit- 

- . , Twilight Zone 39 



tent clickety-click of his teeth. LaVerne had tried to 
move next to Deke, but he pushed her away — gently 
but firmly enough. 

"Let me be for now," he said. 

So she sat down, arms crossed over her breasts, 
hands cupping her elbows, shivering. She looked at 
Randy, her eyes telling him he could come back, put 
his arm around her, it was okay now. 

He looked away instead, back at the dark circle 
on the water. It just floated there, not coming any 
closer, but not going away, either. He looked toward 
the shore and there was the beach, a ghostly white 
crescent that seemed to float. The trees behind it made 
a dark, bulking horizon line. He thought he could see 
Deke's Camaro, but he wasn't sure. 

"We just picked up and went," Deke said 

"That's right," Randy said. 

"Didn't tell anyone." 


"So no one knows we're here." 

"No." * 

"Stop it!" LaVerne shouted. "Stop it, you're 
scaring me!" 

"Shut your pie-hole," Deke said absently, and 
Randy laughed in spite of himself — no matter how 
many times Deke said that, it always slew him. "If we 
have to spend the night out here, we do. Somebody'll 
hear us yelling tomorrow. We're hardly in the middle 
of the Australian outback, are we, Randy?" 

Randy said nothing. 

"Are we?" 

"You know where we are," Randy said. "You 
know as well as I do. We turned off Route Forty-one, 
we came up eight miles of back road — " 

"Cottages every fifty feet — " 

"Summer cottages. This is October. They're 
empty, the whole- fucking bunch of them. We got here 
and you had to drive around the damn gate, 'No 
trespassing' signs every fifty feet — " 

"So? A caretaker — " Deke was sounding a little 
pissed now, a little off-balance. A little scared for the 
first time tonight, for the first time this month, this 
year, maybe for the first time in his whole life? Now 
there was an awesome thought — Deke loses his fear- 
cherry. Randy was not sure it was happening, but he 
thought maybe it was . . . and he took a perverse 
pleasure in it. 

"Nothing to steal, nothing to vandalize," he 
said. "If there's a caretaker, he probably pops by here 
on a bimonthly basis." 

"Hunters — " 

"Next month, yeah," Randy said, and shut his 
mouth with a snap. He had also succeeded in scaring 

"Maybe it'll leave us alone," LaVerne said. Her 
lips made a pathetic, loose smile. "Maybe it'll just . . . 

“Did it go under?” 
LaVerne said, and there 
was something oddiy 
nonchalant about her 
tone, as if she were trying 
with all her might to be 
conversational, but 
she was screaming, too. 
“Did it go under the raft? 
Is it under us?” 

you know . . . leave us alone." 

Deke said, "Maybe pigs will — " 

"It's moving," Randy said. 

LaVerne leaped to her feet. Deke came to where 
Randy was and for a moment the raft tilted, scaring 
Randy's heart into a gallop and making LaVerne 
scream again. Then Deke stepped back a little and the 
raft stabilized, with the left front corner (as they faced 
the shoreline) dipped down slightly more than the rest 
of the raft. 

It came with an oily, frightening speed, and as it 
did, Randy saw the colors Rachel had seen — fantastic 
reds and yellows and blues spiraling across an ebony 
surface like limp plastic or dark, lithe Naugahyde. It 
rose and fell with the waves and that changed the col- 
ors, made them swirl and blend. Randy realized he was 
going to fall over, fall right into it, he could feel 
himself tilting out . . . 

With the last of his strength he brought his right 
fist up his own nose — the gesture of a man stifling a 
cough, only a little high and a lot hard. His nose flared 
with pain, he felt blood run warmly down his face, 
and then he was able to step back, crying out, "Don't 
look at it! Deke! Don't look right at it, the colors make 
you loopy!" 

"It's trying to get under the raft," Deke said 
grimly. "What's this shit, Cisco?" 

Randy looked — he looked very carefully. He 
saw the thing nuzzling the side of the raft, flattening to 
a shape like half a pizza. For a moment it seemed to be 
piling up there, thickening, and he had an alarming vi- 
sion of it piling up enough to run onto the surface of 
the raft. 

Then it squeezed under. He thought he heard a 

40 Twilight Zone 

noise for a moment — a rough noise, like a roll of can- 
vas being pulled through a narrow window — but that 
might have only been a creation of his overwrought 

"Did it go under?" LaVerne said, and there was 
something oddly nonchalant about her tone, as if she 
were trying with all her might to be conversational, 
but she was screaming, too. "Did it go under the raft? 
Is it under us?" 

"Yes," Deke said. He looked at Randy. "I'm go- 
ing to swim for it right now," he said. "If it's under 
there I've got a good chance." 

"No!" LaVerne screamed. "No, don't leave us 
here, don't—" 

"I'm fast," Deke said, looking at Randy, ignor- 
ing LaVerne completely. "But I've got to go while it's 
under there." 

Randy's mind felt as if it was whizzing along at 
Mach two or three — in a greasy, nauseating way it was 
exhilarating, like the last few seconds before you puke 
into the slipstream of a cheap carnival ride. There was 
time to hear the barrels under the raft clunking hollow- 
ly together, time to hear the leaves on the trees beyond 
the beach rattling dryly in a little puff of wind, time to 
wonder why it had gone under the raft. 

"Yes," he said to Deke. "But I don't think you'll 
make it." 

"I'll make it, ' Deke said, and started toward the 
edge of the raft. 

He got two steps and then stopped. 

His breath had been speeding up, his brain get- 
ting his heart and lungs ready to swim the fastest fifty 
yards of his life, and now his breath stopped like the 
rest of him, simply stopped in the middle of an inhale. 

He turned his head, and Randy saw the cords in his 
neck stand out. 

"Cisco?" he said in an amazed, choked voice, 
and then Deke began to scream. 

He screamed with amazing force, great baritone 
bellows that splintered up toward wild soprano levels. 
They were loud enough to echo back from the shore in 
ghostly half notes. At first Randy thought he was just 
screaming, and then he realized it was a word — no, 
two words, the same two words over and over: "My 
foot!" Deke was screaming. "My foot! My foot! My 

Randy looked down. Deke's foot had taken on 
an odd sunken look. The reason was obvious, but 
Randy's mind refused to accept it at first — it was too 
impossible, too insanely grotesque. As he watched, 
Deke's foot was being pulled down between two of the 
boards that made up the surface of the raft. 

Then he saw the dark shine of the black thing 
beyond the heel and the toes of Deke's subtly deformed 
right foot, dark shine alive with swirling, malevolent 

The thing had his foot (“My foot!" Deke 
screamed, as if to confirm this elementary deduction. 
"My foot, oh my foot, my FOOOOOOT!"). He had 
stepped on one of the cracks between the boards (step 
on a crack, break yer mother's back, his mind gibbered 
wildly), and the thing had been down there. The thing 
had — 

"Pull!" he screamed back suddenly. "Pull, Deke, 
Goddamnit, PULL!" 

"What's happening?" LaVerne hollered, and 
Randy realized dimly that she wasn't just shaking his 
his shoulder; she had sunk her spade-shaped fingernails 
into him like claws. She was going to be absolutely no 
help at all. He drove an elbow into her stomach. She 
made a barking, coughing noise and sat down on her 
fanny. He leaped to Deke and grabbed one of Deke's 

It was hard as Carerra marble, every muscle 
standing out like the rib of a sculpted dinosaur skele- 
ton. Pulling Deke was like trying to pull a big tree out 
of the ground by the roots. Deke's eyes were turned up 
toward the royal purple of the post-dusk sky, glazed 
and unbelieving, and still he screamed, screamed, 

Randy looked down and saw that Deke's foot 
had now disappeared into the crack between the 
boards up to the ankle. That crack was perhaps only a 
quarter of an inch wide, surely no more than half an 
inch, but his foot had gone into it. Blood ran across 
the white boards in thick dark tendrils. Black stuff, like 
heated plastic, jnilsed up and down in the crack, up 
and down, like a great black heart beating. 

Got to get him out. Got to get him out quick or 
we're never gonna get him out at all. .. . Hold on, 
Cisco, please hold on. .. . 



TwUight Zone 41 



La Verne got to her feet and backed away from 
the gnarled, screaming Deke-tree in the center of the 
raft which floated at anchor under the October stars on 
Cascade Lake. She was shaking her head numbly, her 
arms crossed over her belly where Randy's elbow had 
gotten her. 

Deke leaned hard against him, arms groping 
stupidly. Randy looked down and saw blood gushing 
from Deke's shin, which now tapered the way a 
sharpened pencil tapers to a point — only the point here 
was white, not black — the point was a bone, barely 

The black stuff surged up again, sucking, eating. 

Deke wailed. 

Never going to play football on that foot again, 
what foot, ha-ha, his mind blabbered, and he pulled 
Deke with all his might and it was still like pulling at a 
rooted tree. 

Deke lurched again and now he uttered a long, 
drilling shriek that made Randy fall back, shrieking 
himself, hands covering his ears. Blood burst from the 
pores of Deke's calf and shin; bis kneecap had taken on 
a purple, bulging look as it tried to absorb the tremen- 
dous pressure being put on it as the black thing hauled 
Deke's leg down through the narrow crack inch by 
agonizing inch. 

Can't help him. How strong it must be! Can't 
help him now. I'm sorry, Deke, so sorry — 

"Hold me, Randy," LaVerne yelled, clutching at 
him everywhere, digging her face into his chest. "Hold 
me, please, won't you hold me — " 

This time, he did. 

It was only later that a terrible realization came 
to Randy; The two of them could have almost surely 
swum ashore while the black thing was busy with 
Deke — and if LaVerne refused to try it, he could have 
done it himself. The keys to the Camaro were in 
Deke's jeans, lying on the beach. He could have done 
it ... but the realization that he could have never 
came to him until too late. 

Deke died just as his thigh began to disappear 
into the narrow crack between the boards. He had 
stopped shrieking minutes before. Since then he had ut- 
tered only thick, syrupy grunts. Then those stopped, 
too. When he fainted, falling forward, Randy heard 
whatever remained of the femur in his right leg splinter 
in a greenstick fracture. 

A moment later Deke raised his head, looked 
around groggily, and opened his mouth. Randy 
thought he meant to scream again. Instead, he voided a 
great jet of blood, so thick it was almost solid. Both 
Randy and LaVerne were splattered with its warmth 
and she began to scream again, hoarsely now. 

"Oooog!" She cried, her face twisted in half- 
mad revulsion. "Ooog! Blood! Ooooog, blood! Blood!" 
She rubbed at herself and only succeeded in smearing it 

Blood was pouring from Deke's eyes, coming 
with such force that they had bugged out almost com- 
ically with the force of the hemorrhage. Randy 
thought. Talk about vitality! Christ, look at that! He's 
like a goddamned human fire hydrant! God! God! 

Blood streamed from both of Deke's ears. His 
face was a hideous purple turnip, swelled shapeless 
with the hydrostatic pressure of some unbelievable 
reversal; it was the face of a man clutched in a bear 
hug of monstrous and unknowable force. 

And then, suddenly, it was over. 

Deke collapsed forward again, his hair hanging 
down on the raft's bloody boards, and Randy saw with 
sickish amazement that even Deke's scalp had bled. 

Sounds from under the raft. Sucking sounds. 

That was when it occurred to his tottering, 
overloaded mind that he could swim for it and stand a 
good chance of making it, while the thing was occu- 
pied with what remained of Deke. But LaVerne had 
gotten heavy in his arms, ominously heavy; he looked 
at her slack face, rolled back an eyelid to disclose only 
white, and knew that she had not fainted but fallen 
into what the Victorian doctors had called deep- 
swoon — a state of shock-unconsciousness. 

Randy looked at the surface of the raft. He 
could lay her down, of course, but the boards were 
only a foot across. There was a diving board platform 
attached to the raft in the summertime, but that, at 
least, had been taken down and stored somewhere. 
Nothing left but the surface of the raft itself, fourteen 
boards, each a foot wide and twenty feet long. No way 
to put her down without laying her unconscious body 
across any number of those cracks. 

Step on a crack, break your mother's back. 

Shut up. 

And then, tenebrously, his mind whispered. Do 
it anyway. Put her down and swim for it. 

But he did not, could not. An awful guilt rose 
in him at the thought. He held her, feeling the soft, 
steady drag on his arms and back. She was a big girl. 

eke went down. 

Randy held LaVerne in his aching arms and 
watched it happen. He did not want to, and 
for long seconds that might even have been minutes, he 
turned his face away entirely; but his eyes always 
wandered back. 

With Deke dead, it seemed to go faster. 

The rest of his right leg disappeared, his left leg 
stretching out further and further until Deke looked 
like a one-legged ballet dancer doing an impossible 
split. There was the wishbone crack of his pelvis, and 
then, as Deke's stomach began to swell ominously with 
new pressure, Randy looked away for a long time, try- 
ing not to hear the wet sounds, trying to concentrate 
on the pain in his arms. He coukJ maybe bring her 

42 Twilight Zone 

He was just in time 
to see Deke’s fingers 
being puiied down, 
it looked to Randy as if 
Deke was waving to him. 
Waving goodbye. 

around, he thought, but for the time being it was bet- 
ter to have the throbbing pain in his arms and 
shoulders. It gave him something to think about. 

From behind him came a sound like strong teeth 
crunching up a mouthful of candy jawbreakers. When 
he looked back, Deke's ribs were collapsing into the 
crack. His arms were up and out, and he looked like 
an obscene parody of Richard Nixon giving the V-for- 
victory sign that had driven demonstrators wild in the 
sixties and seventies. 

His eyes were open. His tongue had popped out 
at Randy. 

Randy looked away again, out. across the lake. 
Look for lights, he told himself. He knew there were 
no lights over there, but he told himself that anyway. 
Look for lights over there, somebody's got to be stay- 
ing the week in his place, fall foliage, shouldn't miss it, 
bring your Nikon, folks back home are going to love 
the slides. 

When he looked back, Deke's arms were 
straight up. He wasn't Nixon anymore; now he was a 
football ref signaling that the extra point had been 

Deke's head appeared to be sitting on the boards. 

His eyes were still open. 

His tongue was still sticking out. 

"Oh, Ceesco," Randy muttered, and looked 
away again. His arms and shoulders were shrieking 
now, but still he held her in his arms. He looked at the 
far side of the lake. The far side of the lake was dark. 
Stars spilled across the black sky, a spill of cold milk 
somehow suspended high in the air. 

Minutes passed. He'll be gone now. You can look 
now. Okay, yeah, all right. But don't look. Just to be 
safe, don't look. Agreed? Agreed. Most definitely. 

So he looked anyway and was just in time to- 
see Deke's fingers being pulled down. They were 
moving — probably the motion of the water under the 
raft was being transmitted to the unknowable thing 
which had caught Deke, and that motion was then be- 
ing transmitted to Deke's fingers. Probably, probably. 
But it looked to Randy as if Deke was waving to him. 

• Waving goodbye. For the first time he felt his mind 
give a sickening sideways wrench — it seemed to cant 
the way the raft itself had canted when all four of them 

had stood on the same side. It righted itself, but Randy 
suddenly understood that madness — real lunacy— was 
perhaps not as far away as he had thought. 

Deke's football ring — All-Conference, 1981 — slid 
slowly up the third finger of his right hand. The star- 
light rimmed the gold, played in the minute gutters be- 
tween the engraved numbers, 19 on one side of the 
reddish stone, 81 on the other. The ring slid off his 
finger. The ring was a little too big to fit down through 
the crack,, and, of course, it wouldn't squeeze. 

It lay there. It was 'all that was left of Deke now. 
Deke was gone. No more dark-haired girls with sloe 
eyes, no more flicking Randy's bare rump with a wet 
towel when Randy came out of the shower, no more 
breakaway runs from midfield with fans rising to their 
feet in the bleachers and cheerleaders turning hysterical 
cartwheels along the sidelines. No more fast rides after 
dark in the Camaro with Thin Lizzy blaring out of the 
tape deck. No more Cisco Kid. 

There was that faint rasping noise again — a roll of 
canvas being pulled slowly through a slit of a window. 

Randy was standing with his bare feet on the 
boards. He looked down and saw the cracks on either 
side of both feet suddenly filled with slick darkness. 
His eyes bulged. He thought of the way the blood had 
come spraying from Deke's mouth in ah almost solid 
rope, the way Deke's eyes had bugged out as if on 
springs as hemorrhages caused by hydrostatic pressure 
pulped his brain. 

It smells me. Ik knows I'm here. Can it come^ 
up? Can it get up through the cracks? Can it? Can it? 

He stared down, unaware of LaVerne's limp 
weight now, fascinated by the enormity of the ques- 
tion, wondering what the stuff would feel like when it 
flowed over his feet, when it hooked into him. 

The black shininess humped up almost to the 
edge of the cracks (Randy rose on tiptoes without be- 
ing at all aware he was doing it), and then it went 
down. That canvasy slithering resumed. And suddenly 
Randy saw it on the water again, a great dark mole, 
now perhaps fifteen feet across. It rose and fell with 
the mild wavelets, rose and fell, rose and fell, and 
when Randy began to see the colors pulsing evenly 
across it, he tore his eyes away. 

He put LaVerne down, and as soon as his 
muscles unlocked, his arms began to shake wildly. He 
let them shake. He knelt beside her, her hair spread 
across the white boards in an irregular dark fan. He 
knelt and watched that dark mole on the water, ready 
to yank her up again if it showed any signs of moving. 

He began to slap her lightly, first one cheek and 
then the other, back and forth, like a second trying to 
bring a fighter Ground. LaVerne didn't want to come 
around. LaVerne did not want to pass Go and collect 
two hundred dollars. LaVerne had seen enough. But 
Randy couldn't guard her all night, lifting her like a can- 
vas sack every time that thing moved (and you couldn't 

Twilight Zone 43 



look at the thing too long; that was another thing). 

He had learned a trick, though. He hadn't learned 
it in college. He had learned it from a friend of his 
older brother's. This friend had been a paramedic in 
Nam, and he knew all sorts of tricks — how to catch 
head lice off a human scalp and make them race in a 
match box, how to cut cocaine with baby laxative, 
how to sew up deep cuts with ordinary needle and 
thread. One day they had been talking about ways to 
bring abysmally drunken folks around so these abys- 
mally drunken people wouldn't puke down their own 
throats and die, as Bon Scott, the leader of AC /DC, 
had done. 

"You want to bring someone around in a 
hurry?" the friend with the catalogue of interesting 
tricks had said. "Try this." And he told Randy the trick 
which Randy now used. 

He leaned over and bit LaVerne's earlobe as 
hard as he could. 

Hot, bitter blood squirted into his mouth. 
LaVerne's eyelids flew up like window shades. She 
screamed in a hoarse, growling^voice and struck out at 
him. Randy looked up and saw the far side of the 
thing only; the rest of it was already under the raft. It 
had moved with eerie, horrible, silent speed. 

He jerked LaVerne up again, his muscles 
screaming protest, trying to knot into charley horses. 
She was beating at his face. One of her hands struck 
his sensitive nose and he saw red stars. 

"Quit it!" he shouted, shuffling his feet onto the 
boards. "Quit it, you bitch, it's under us again, quit it 
or I'll fucking drop you, I swear to God I will!" 

Her arms immediately stopped flailing at him 
and closed quietly around his neck in a deadly, convul- 
sive drowner's grip. Her eyes looked white in the 
swimming starlight. 

"Stop it!" She didn't. "Stop it, LaVerne, you're 
choking me!" 

Tighter. Panic flared in his mind. The hollow 
clunk of the barrels had taken on a duller, muffled 
note — it was the thing underneath, he supposed. 

"I can't breathe!" 

The hold loosened a little. 

"Now listen. I'm going to put you down. It's all 
right if you — " 

But put you down was all she had heard. Her 
arms tightened in that deadly grip again. His right 
hand was on her back. He hooked it into a claw and 
raked at her. She kicked her legs, mewling harshly, 
and for a moment he almost lost his balance. She felt 
it. Fright rather than pain made her stop struggling. 

"Stand on the boards." 

"No!" Her air puffed hot and frantic against his 


"It can't get you if you stand on the boards." 

"No, don't put me down, it'll get me, I know it 
will, I know — " 

Randy had forgotten 
to strip off his watch 
when he ran into the water, 
and now he marked off 
fifteen minutes. 

At quarter past eight, 
the black thing slid out 
from under the raft again. 
It drew about fifteen feet off 
and then stopped 
as it had before. 

He raked at her back again. She screamed in 
anger and pain and fear. "You get down or I'll drop 
you, LaVerne." 

He lowered her slowly and carefully, both of 
them breathing in sharp little whines — oboe and flute. 
Her feet touched the boards. She jerked her legs up as 
if the boards were hot. 

"Put them down!" he hissed at her. "I'm not 
Deke, I can't hold you all night!" 

"Deke — " 


Her feet touched the boards. Little by little he 
let go of her. They faced each other like dancers. He 
could see her waiting for its first touch. Her mouth 
gaped like the mouth of a goldfish. 

"Randy," she whispered. "Where is it?" 

"Under. Look down." 

She did. He did. They saw the blackness stuff- 
ing the cracks, stuffing them almost all the way across 
the raft now. Randy sensed its eagerness, and thought 
she did, too. 

"Randy, please — " 


They stood there. 

Randy had forgotten to strip off his watch when 
he ran into the water, and now he marked off fifteen 
minutes. At quarter past eight, the black thing slid out 
from under the raft again. It drew about fifteen feet off 
and then stopped as it had before. 

"I'm going to sit down," he said. 


"I'm tired," he said. "I'm going to sit down and 
you're going to watch it. Just remember to keep look- 
ing away. Then I'll get up and you- sit down. We go 

44 Twilight Zone 

like that. Here." He gave her his watch. "Fifteen minutes." 

"It ate Deke," she whispered. 


"What is it?" 

"I don't know." 

"I'm cold." 

"Me too." 

"Hold me, then." 

"I've held you enough." 

She subsided then. 

Sitting down was heaven; not having to watch 
the thing was bliss. He watched La Verne instead, mak- 
ing sure that her eyes kept shifting away from the thing 
on the water. 

"What are we going to do, Randy?" 

He thought. 

"Wait," he said. 

At the end of fifteen minutes he stood up and 
let her first sit and then lie down for half an hour. 
Then he got her on her feet again and she stood for fif- 
teen minutes. They went back and forth. At quarter of 
ten, a cold rind of moon rose and beat a path across 
the water. At ten-thirty, a shrill, lonely cry rose, echo- 
ing across the water, and La Verne shrieked. 

"Shut up," he said. "It's just a loon." 

"I'm freezing, Randy — I'm numb all over." 

"I can't do anything about it." 

"Hold me," she said. "You've got to. We'll hold 
each other. We can both sit down and watch it 

He debated, but the cold sinking into his own 
flesh was now bone-deep, and that decided him. 

They sat together, arms wrapped around each 

other, and something happened— natural or perverse, it 
happened. He felt himself stiffening. One of his hands 
found her breast, cupped in damp nylon, and squeezed. 
She made a sighing noise, and her hand stole to the 
crotch of his underpants. 

He slid his other hand down and found a place 
where there was some heat. He pushed her down on 
her back. 

"No," she said, but the hand in his crotch began 
to move faster. 

"I can see it," he said. His heartbeat had sped 
up again, pushing blood faster, pushing warmth 
toward the surface of his chilled bare skin. "I can 
watch it." 

She murmured something, and he felt elastic 
slide down his hips to his upper thighs. He watched it. 
He slid upward, forward, into her. Warmth. God, she 
was warm there, at least. She rpade a guttural noise 
and her fingers grabbed at his cold, clenched buttocks. 

He watched it. It wasn't moving. He watched it. 
He watched it closely. The tactile sensations were in- 
credible, fantastic. He was not experienced, but neither 
was he a virgin; he had made love with three girls and 
it had never been like this. She moaned and began to 
lift her hips. The raft rocked gently, like the world's 
hardest water bed. The barrels underneath murmured 

He watched it. The colors began to swirl — 
slowly now, sensuously, not threatening; he watched it 
and he watched the cSlors. His eyes were wide. The 
colors were in his eyes. He wasn't cold now; he was 
hot now, hot the way you got your first day back on 
the beach in early June, when you could feel the sun 
tightening your winter-white skin, reddening it, giving 
it some 


color, some tint. First day at the beach, first day 
of summer, drag out the Beach Boys oldies, drag out 
the Ramones, the Ramones telling you that you can 
hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach, the sand, the beach, 
the colors 

(moving, it's starting to move) 
and the feel of summer, the texture; Gary U.S. 
Bonds, school is out and I can root for the Yankees 
from the bleachers, girls in bikinis on the beach, the 
beach, the beach, firm breasts fragrant with Copper- 
tone oil, and if the bottom of the bikini was small 
enough you might see some 

(hair her hair HER HAIR IS IN THE OH GOD 

He pulled back suddenly, trying to pull her up, 
but the thing moved with oily speed and tangled itself in 
her hair like a webbing of thick black glue, and when he 
pulled her up she was already screaming and she was 
heavy with it; it came out of the water in a twisting, grue- 
some membrane that roiled with flaring colors — scarlet- 
vermillion, flaring emerald, sullen ocher. 

Twilight Zone 45 



It flowed down over LaVerne's face in a tide, 
obliterating it. 

Her feet kicked and drummed. The thing 
twisted and moved where her face had been. Blood ran 
down her neck in streams. Screaming, not hearing 
himself scream, Randy ran at her, put his foot against 
her hip, and shoved. She went flopping and tumbling 
over the side, her legs like alabaster in the moonlight. 
For a few endless moments the water frothed and 
splashed against the side of the raft, as if someone had 
hooked the world's largest bass in there and it was 
fighting like hell. 

Randy screamed. He screamed. And then, for 
variety, he screamed some more. 

Some half an hour later, long after the frantic 
splashing and struggling had ended, the loons began to 
scream back. 

That night was forever. 

T he sky began to lighten in the east around 
quarter to five, and heifelt a sluggish rise in his 
spirit. It was momentary, as false as the dawn. 
He stood on the boards, his eyes half closed, his chin 
on his chest. He had been sitting on the boards until an 
hour ago, and had been suddenly awakened — without 
even knowing until then that he had fallen asleep, that 
was the scary part — by that unspeakable hissing-canvas 
sound. He leaped to his feet bare seconds before the 
blackness began to suck eagerly for him between the 
boards. His breath whined in and out; he bit at his lip, 
making it bleed. 

Asleep, you were asleep, you asshole! 

The thing had oozed out from under again half 
an hour later, but he hadn't sat down again. He was 
afraid to sit down, afraid he would go to sleep and that 
this time his mind wouldn't trip him awake in time. 

His feet were still planted squarely on the boards 
as a stronger light, real dawn this time, filled the east 
and the first morning birds began to sing. The sun came 
up, and by six o'clock the day was bright enough for 
him to be able to see the beach. Deke's Camaro, bright 
yellow, was right where Deke had parked it, nose into 
the pole fence. A bright litter of shirts and sweaters and 
four pairs of jeans were twisted into little shapes along 
the beach. The sight of them filled him with fresh horror 
when he thought his capacity for horror must surely 
have been exhausted. He could see his jeans, one leg 
pulled inside out, the pocket showing. His jeans looked 
so safe lying there on the sand, just waiting for him to 
come along and pull the inside out leg back through so it 
was right, grasping the pocket as he did, so the change 
wouldn't fall out. He could almost feel them whispering 
up his legs, could feel himself buttoning the brass button 
above the fly — 

He looked left and there it was — black, round 
as a checker, floating lightly. Colors began to swirl 

across its hide and he looked away quickly. 

"Go home," he croaked. "Go home or go to Cali- 
fornia and find a Roger Corman movie to audition for." 

A plane droned somwhere far away, and he fell 
into a dozing fantasy: INe are reported missing, the four 
of us. The search spreads outward from Horlicks. A 
farmer remembers being passed by a yellow Camaro 
"going like a bat out of hell . " The search centers in the 
Cascade Lake area. Private pilots volunteer to do a 
quick aerial search, and one guy, buzzing the lake in 
his Beechcraft Twin Bonanza, sees a kid standing naked 
on the raft, one kid, one survivor, one — 

He caught himself on the edge of toppling over 
and brought his fist into his nose again, screaming at 
the pain. 

The black thing arrowed at the raft immediately 
and squeezed underneath — it could hear, perhaps, or 
sense. . .or something. 

Randy waited. 

This time it was forty-five minutes before it 
came out. 


Randy was crying. 

He was crying because something new had 
been added now — every time he tried to sit down, the 
thing slid under the raft. It wasn't entirely stupid, then; 
it had either sensed or figured out that it could get him 
while he was sitting down. 

"Go away," Randy wept at the great black mole 
floating on the water. Fifty yards away, mockingly 
close, a squirrel was scampering back and forth on the 
hood of Deke's Camaro. "Go away, please, go any- 
where, but leave me alone . . . . " 

The thing didn't move. Colors began to swirl 
across its visible surface. Randy tore his eyes away and 
looked at the beach, looked for rescue, but there was 
no one there, no one at all. His jeans still lay there, 
one leg inside out, the white lining of one pocket show- 
ing. They no longer looked to him as if someone was 
going to pick them up. They looked like relics. 

He thought: If I had a gun, I would kill myself 


He stood on the raft. 

The sun went down. 

Three hours later, the moon came up. 

Not long after that, the loons began to scream. 

Not long after that, Randy turned and looked at 
the black thing on the water. He could not kill himself, 
but perhaps the thing could fix it so there was no 
pain — perhaps that was what the colors were for. 

He looked for it and it was there, floating, 
riding the waves. 

"Show me something pretty," Randy croaked. 

The colors began to form and twist. This time 
Randy did not look away. Somewhere, far across the 
empty lake, a loon screamed. IS 

46 Twilight Zone 


(page 22) 

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, 
is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. 

We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, 
and it was not meant that we should voyage far." 

— [H. P.] Lovecraft, 

A. LADYFINGER B. OTRANTO (Lovecraft held a 
low opinion of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto 
(1764), the first gothic novel, calling it "flat, stilted, 
and altogether devoid of the true cosmic horror which 
makes real literature.") C. VOIDED D. EIDOLON 
(The quoted sentence is from Lovecraft's "The 
Outsider.") E. CIMMERIAN (A friend through 
correspondence, Lovecraft was a great admirer of 
Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan.) F. ROWE 
G. ATTAIN H. FISTICUFFS (Lovecraft had a hand 
in "The Battle that Ended the Century," an in-joke 
spoof by his young disciple Robert Barlow.) 
craft hailed William Hope Hodgson as "perhaps 
second only to Algernon Blackwood in his serious 
treatment of unreality.") L. ELDRITCH (A pet ad- 

The Call of Cthulhu 

jective of Lovecraft's, this example appears in his "The 
Unnamable.") M. CHASTITY (A virtue of which 
Lovecraft approved and^apart from the period of his 
brief marriage— practiced.) N. ALCHEMIST (One of 
Lovecraft's earliest stories was entitled "The 
Alchemist.") O. LAST TEST (Lovecraft revised this 
tale.) P. LOVEMAN (Samuel Loveman was a friend 
of Lovecraft's during his New York sojourn.) 
Q. OINTMENT R. FINIAL (The quoted passage is 
from Lovecraft's "The Haunter of the Dark.") 
V. USHER (Lovecraft considered "The Fall of the 
House of Usher" "Poe's supreme tale — and perhaps 
the supreme weird tale of all the ages.") W. LATIN 
adjective that recurs in Lovecraft's fiction.) 

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Twilight Zone 47 

TRIPLE bill 


E ighteen months ago, when production began on 

Walt Disney Studios' version of Something Wicked 
This Way Comes, hopes were high that this would 
be the first faithful adaptation of a Bradbury work to hit 
the screen. Bradbury himself had authored the script, and 
director Jack Clayton (The Innocents, The Great Gatsby) 
was taking great pains to come up with visuals that would 
do the words justice. Eye-boggling sets were constructed on 
the Disney lot. Press releases were handed out. A Christmas 
1982 release was promised. And then . . . 

Something strange happened to Something Wicked. 
Now slated to appear in May, Something Wicked This 
Way Comes is not the movie Disney intended to make 
back in 1981. "It's a lot better," says director of special 
effects /associate producer Lee Dyer. "We've captured the 
essence of the book and retranslated it into visual terms." 

During the past ten months, the movie has undergone 
some drastic overhauling to the tune of three million 
dollars. The process began last June when Dyer was asked 
to view a rough cut of Clayton's film by studio execs who 
felt it to be weak in spots. Dyer agreed with the honchos, 
although he hastens to add, "Jack Clayton was short- 
changed on this movie from the beginning. There were a 
lot of projects getting more attention than his. EPCOT 
[Disney's futuristic community in Florida) was the number- 
one priority around here. Then there was Tron, on which 
I was effects supervisor. As a result of all this other 
activity, there was no one around to work on effects for 
Something Wicked . " 

After Dyer saw the floundering film, he made pages 
of notes suggesting where effects sequences could be added 
to strengthen its clout. He also figured out ways to spruce 
up existing scenes, adding, in all, some twenty minutes of 
new footage. 

"We used whatever techniques we felt would 
strengthen the story. The first sequence I developed 
employed spiders. I hate spiders. They scare the heck out 
50 Twilight Zone 

of me. I used them to heighten the power of the carnival's 
Dust Witch. In the book, the witch seeks out the boys in 
a fairly traditional way. I came up with the idea that she 
could send her essence to the boys' homes in the form of 
ectoplasm. Once there, she'd transform herself into an 
army of spiders. We used two hundred live tarantulas, 
four hundred fake ones, and six mechanical models. I'm 
still not over my fear of spiders, but I love that scene. 

"You know," Dyer adds, "scaring audiences is nothing 
new here. The studio has been doing it since Snow White, 
if you think about it. We've simply taken that sense of 
fantasy fright and done it with live action.'' 

After restaging a few more scenes. Dyer moved on to 
one of the movie's most startling sequences. "We show the 
carnival completely resurrecting itself without the use of 
human hands, in a combination of ver^^ advanced 
computer animation and hand-painted animation. It's the 
first time a computer has been used to animate organic 
material." In this scene, the carnival materializes out of the 
smoke from a passing train and takes form by using 
objects in an open field as a foundation. Train smoke 
becomes ropes and canvas tents. Tree limbs grow together 
to form a ferris wheel and a spider web mutates into a 
wheel of fortune. 

Yet another high point called for the carnival to be 
sucked up into a churning storm. For that effect, a detailed 
miniature was suspended upside down twenty feet above a 
cloud tank. "1 showed that sequence to Jack last week," 
beams Dyer, "and he just fell over. We built the largest 
cloud tank in existence, and our storm is really something 
to see, bursting with lightning and energy effects. In fact, 
we've redone the movie to the point where, as the story 
progresses, our storm becomes one of the stars. It's the 
'good' entity in the movie, an ever-present force, almost 
godlike. If Mr. Dark is the devil, then our storm is the 
force of light." 

Aside from generating completely new effects scenes. 

Photos © 1982 Wott Disney Producttor^ 

Dyer's gang went back to existing scenes and added hand- 
generated animation techniques to underscore their power. 

"There was a point where Mr. Dark was trapped on 
his carousel, his foot caught on a stirrup, that made no 
sense to me," says Dyer. "If Mr. Dark is a power to be 
reckoned with, he could easily have gotten out of that fix. 
So we added a bit where lightning strikes the carousel. It 
completely energizes the structure. Electricity surges 
through everything. The horses snort sparks. Now Dark is 
still trapped on the carousel, but he's held there by an 
overwhelming wave of energy." 

In another episode. Halloway is cornered by Dark in 
a library and tempted with the promise of a second 
childhood. "Dark begins ripping pages out of a book," 
says Dyer. "Each torn page represents a slice of Halloway's 
youth lost to him. After this page is torn, you can no 
longer be twenty. After this page, you lose twenty-five. 

"We've added animation to heighten the drama. When 
each page is torn out, there's a blast of fiery light. The 
page is red hot, cooling off only when it hits the floor. 
With each blast, we added interactive lighting to Dark's 
face, making him look even more demonic. The light also 
reflects off Halloway and the books around him. Finally, 
when Dark throws the book at Halloway, the entire 
library is illuminated by a flash of light. 

"It's touches like this that add to the magic. When I 
first started working on that scene, Ray Bradbury was 
worried that we'd ruin it. When he saw the finished 
effects, he had one word for us; 'fantastic.' " 

Dyer feels the extra work has paid off. "I showed the 
spider sequence to six women from the studio last week," he 
says. "One nearly fainted. One almost threw up. One had 
her knees up to her chest — and that was an elderly ladyl 
"On the way out, one of the women turned to me 
and said, 'I can't believe this is a Disney film! ' " A wicked 
laugh escapes Dyer's lips. "That's probably the biggest 
compliment anyone could pay me!" 10 

1. Lightning rod salesman Tom Fury (Royal DarK» warns young Jim 
Nightshade and Will Halloway (Shown Carson artd Vidal I. 
Peterson) ot a coming storm. Throughout Ray Bradbury's rtovel 
lightning Is an ever-present threat to the carnival, revealing Its 
true nature. 

2. Bradbury poses before a miniature ot the Pandemonium c::amival. 
A life-size carnival was built on a two- acre set nearby. 

3. Jason Robards ploys troubled small-town librarian Charles 
Holloway, whose relations with his son Will are clouded by a long- 
ago act of cowardice. 

4. Sneoklrtg Into the carousel to spy on Mr. Dark (Jonathan Pryce), 
the boys are discovered by him and his assistant, Mr. Coogar 
(Bruce Fischer)— and, to their surprise, are offered free tickets 

to return, 

5. Associate producer Lee Dyer and director Jock Clayton study the 
Mirror Maze, in which Will Halloway Is trapped. 

6. Mechonlcal-elfects designer Isidoro RaponI (Close Bncounfers) 
displays a box of fake tarantulas he built to augment the two 
hundr^ live ones used in a "Dust Witch" sequerx:e. 


F or many, the thought of a sequel to Psycho, 

Alfred Hitchcock's trend-setting 1960 classic that 
has become part of the collective unconscious of an 
entire generation of filmgoers, is tantamount to sacrilege. 

But it is coming (tentatively in May), and it's coming in 
the wake of a flood tide of sequels that are presently 
ready for release or in development — films such as 
Superman III, Supergirl I, Amityville 3-D, Sting 11, Star 
Trek III, Halloween IV, Jaws 3-D, and Conan II. 

Yt Psycho II is unique. It's been twenty-two years 
since Janet Leigh took her fateful shower, and Norman 
Bates has been languishing in a mental asylum ever since. 
What would happen, thought the filmmakers, if Norman 
were pronounced cured and returned to his motel? Would 
he take a shower? Buy a dress? Kill again? 

The task of directing Psycho II— a formidable one 
given the classic status of its predecessor — was handed 
over to Australian filmmaker Richard Franklin (Patrick, 

Road Games), a 1969 graduate of the DSC film school 
where he studied beside classmates like Randal Kleiser 
(Blue Lagoon) and John Carpenter (Halloween). Not so 
coincidentally, Franklin is an ardent admirer of Hitchcock, 
and as a student he arranged retrospectives of Hitchcock's 
films and established a friendship with the late master. 

On June 30, 1982, principal photography began on this 
five-million-dollar modest thriller under the aegis of 
Universal Studios and executive producer Bernard Schwartz 
(Coalminer's Daughter), with a script by Tom Holland (The 

Beast Within, Class of '84), music by Jerry Goldsmith, and 
a cast that includes Anthony Perkins and Vera Miles, 
reprising their roles in the original, Robert Loggia as 
Norman Bates's psychiatrist, and newcomer Meg Tilly. 

Predictably, the plot of Psycho II has been cloaked in 
secrecy, but this much is known: Norman Bates is 
declared legally sane and released in spite of the 
objections of Vera Miles's Lila, who was Janet Leigh's 
sister in the original. Against the advice of his 
psychiatrist, Norman returns to the motel and the old 
Victorian frame house on the hill (the original sets were 
used) and takes a job as a cook's assistant in a diner 
down the road, where he finds himself attracted to a 
pretty waitress and must come to grips with the social 
changes that two decades have brought. 

Franklin is certain that Hitchcock would approve of 
his film. "Hitchcock does not frighten me," he says. "I 
knew him personally and was even invited to watch him 
shoot Topaz. Whenever I talked to him he would express 
dismay because other filmmakers did not make movies the 
way he did. Psycho, perhaps even more than his other 
films, is an example of expressionistic filmmaking almost 
without the necessity for dialogue. The story is told 
through visual imagery, which is something Hitchcock 
learned from German expressionists like Mumau when he 
was a student in Germany in the twenties. That style is 
something he taught me. I feel that I'm carrying on a 
tradition and that what I'm doing is in the nature of a 
tribute to him." 

According to Franklin, Anthony Perkins did have a 
few reservations about playing Norman Bates again— 

"until he read our script," Franklin says flatly. He notes 
that Perkins was once offered another Psycho II project 
(Perkins was even asked to direct it), "but they didn't 
have the rights to the material." 

In addition, author Robert Bloch, who wrote the 
original Psycho novel (inspired by the real-life atrocities of 
mass murderer Ed Gein), h*s recently published a novel. 
Psycho II, which has no connection to the Psycho II film. 
"It's somewhat coincidental," says Franklin wryly. "The 
Universal Studios may have been offered Bloch's story, 
but they went with a new treatment." 

The power of the original rested to a great extent on 
its shock value. Now, more than two decades later, after 
film audiences have witnessed far more graphic scenes, 
Franklin may find that it's not easy to shock the average 
filmgoer. "Psycho was the first film to combine nudity 
and violence using action montage and clever editing to 
get around the censors, and it scared the hell out of 
people," says Franklin. "We did wonder, 'What can we do 
now to have the same effect?' The answer was not to kill 
someone with an axe in a hot tub. What's frightening 
about Psycho was the futility and vulnerability of the 
(continued on page 56) 

1. Notman Bates (Anthony Perkins) Is conqratulated by his 
psychiatrist (Robert Loggia) otter being declared legally sane 
following twenty-two years In an asylum. 

2. Back at the Infamous Bates Motel, still overshadowed by the old 
house (both trom the orlglrK]l film), the psychiatrist stops by 

to see that Norman is adjusting well to civilian life. 

3. Norman anxiously cSmbs the stairs (where Martin Balsam bought 
It in Psycho) to visit his old bedroom and the bedroom of his 
dead mother. 

4. Lila (Vera MUes)— wpose sister Marion (Janet Leigh) was one of 
Norman Bates's victims In the original Psycho— returns to the old 
Bates house and is drawn to the scene o( Psycho's climax, the 
fruit cellar. 

5. Having taken a job as a cook's assistant in a local diner, Norman 
contemplates the allure of a certain utensil . . . 

6. ... and forms a close relationship with one of the waitresses (Meg 
Tilly, late of Tex). 

.. j Twilight Zone 53 

' » 


G iven director Michael Mann's previous screen 

credit. Thief, a brooding existential tale of an ex- 
con's attempt to sever his ties with the underworld 
by performing one last heist, Mann's involvement in 
Paramount Pictures' upcoming film The Keep is a bit of a 
mystery. Based on the successful (if generally run-of-the- 
mill) novel by F. Paul Wilson, who acknowledges a debt 
to H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Clark Ashton 
Smith, The Keep is a gotlnic horror tale of a vampirelike 
creature imprisoned in an ancient Carpathian fortress 
whose every brick is inlaid with a tiny metal cross. When 
Ncizi soldiers are stationed there during World War II, the 
creature is inadvertently unleashed. The novel graphically 
depicts the systematic slaughter of the Nazis and the 
attempt to contain the cniature before it spreads chaos 
and destruction throughout the globe. 

On one level, Wilson's tale is a metaphor for war 
and the bloodlust it generates. On another level. The 
Keep aspires to be an epic tale of the eternal struggle 
between good and evil as personified by the creature and 
his adversary. Stylistically, the story is a hybrid, a mating 
of two genres, the gothic and the war novel — a technique 
that has been popularized in recent films such as Outland 
(little more than a High Noon on lo) and Blade Runner 
(which combines science fiction and film noir). 

According to advance reports, director Michael Mann 
has taken Wilson's basic jiremise and his Roumanian 
setting and transformed the rest of the story into a lyrical, 
highly stylized study of the sensuality of evil. The director 
himself refers to the film as "an adult fairy tale that is 
scary and romantic." Mann, who also wrote the 
screenplay, admits that he has tried to play down the 
1 horror element in favor of a more allegorical approach. 

In a recent interview, Mann was eager to establish 
that there are no vampires in The Keep. "The film has 
nothing to do with Dracula, who was, as you know, a 
world-class psychotic," sa:d Mann. "What the film does 
i have to do with is how fables grow out of real events. 

I The historical Dracula was a mass murderer; the Dracula 
i of folklore is a supernatui'al creature that thrives on the 
I blood of the living. Fables like this predate modem 
: psychology. They're primitive attempts to encode deviant 
. behavior and to warn people about the existence of evil 
in the real world." 

Mann, who is very careful not to reveal the plot of 
his film in any great detail, explained that he wants to 
portray the struggle between good and evil in the manner 
that Jean Cocteau depicteiJ human love in Beauty and the 
> Beast. "I wanted to do something stylized both in 
cinematic and narrative form. Fairy tales have the power 
to provoke very strong emotions because they 
communicate on the level of unconscious fears and 
desires. They have the power of dreams. So I decided to 
stylize the art direction and the photography, but use 
realistic characterization and dialogue." 

In the novel, the creciture embodying evil has a name 
; — or rather, names. Wher. he first encounters a crippled 
Jewish scholar (played in the movie by Ian McKellan of 
Broadway's Amadeus), the creature identifies himself as 

Viscount Radu Molasar, an "Undead" and a contemporary 
of Vlad Tepes, the historical Dracula. Later on in Wilson's 
novel, we learn that Molasar is no vampire but an adept 
named Rasalom that has lived and feasted on fear and 
hatred since his origin in the mythical First Age. (In this 
Wilson perhaps owes a debt to Lovecraft and his Great 
Race.) We also learn that Rasalom's nemesis is a 
superhuman warrior named Glaeken, who fought Rasalom 
throughout time until, during the Middle Ages, he 
successfully imprisoned him in the Keep. Mann has 
retained the concept of Glaeken in the film; he's to be 
played by Scott Glenn (Urban Cowboy, Personal Best), 
and he's now referred to as "Glaeken Trismegistos" (the 
"thrice powerful" epithet is Mann's invention), an 
enigmatic stranger who somehow knows that the evil 
within the Keep has been released. 

The filmmakers, who sh«t The Keep on location in 
North Wales and at Shepperton Studio Center under the 
supervision of cinematographer Alex Thomson (Excalibur), 
plan to cap the film with an extensive special-effects 
sequence. Nick Alder (Alien) is supervising the mechanical 
effects, while Wally Veevers (2001, Excalibur) handles the 

Whether or not Michael Mann can transform a 
mediocre novel into a seductive fairy tale about the 
sensuality of evil remains to be seen. The hopes he's 
expressed for The Keep sound reminiscent of Paul 
Schrader's pretensions for Cat People, and just as many 
believe that Schrader failed with that film, so Mann may 
find the fantasy genre frustratingly inhospitable to the 
blending of horror and high style. fB 

1. WermocM Captain Klaus Woermann (Jurgen Prochnow of Dos 
Boot) stands atop a state cliff that overlooks the Keep, where his 
men are being systematically murdered by an unknown force. 

2. As the evil Molasar (Mike Carter) looks on, S.S. Officer Kaempffer 
(Gabriel Byrne, BxcoHbufs Uther Pendragon) discovers the 
creature's handiwork, the incinerated bodies of two storm troopers. 

3. The enigmatic Glaeken Trismegistos (Scott Glenn of Urban 
Cowboy), an immortal being In human form, begins to 
metamorphose In preparation tor his battle with Molasar. 

4. Glaeken Trismegistos, partially transformed Into his warrior 
incarnation, struggles with the already transformed Molasar. 

5. Bathed In an eerie blue light. Captain Woermann flees from the 
Keep as the powers of Good and Evil do battle. 

6. At the foot of a cliff In the Carpathian Alps stands Dr. Cuza (Ian 
McKellen, Salieri In the original AmadBUs), a crippled Jewish 
historian vrtiom Nazis have brought to the Keep to solve the 
mystery of the murders. 

Twilight Zone 55 

(continued from page 53) 

victims when exposed to the madness. The tonal quality 
of the original is what makes it a classic. I can't promise 
a scene to match the shower scene, but I can promise a 
number of interesting sequences." Franklin does say that 
Psycho II will feature "a little" nudity and "a little" 
graphic violence. 

"Norman Bates is an even more sympathetic character 
in our film," he adds, "in that he's more pathetic than he 
was. If it was sad to see such a repressed young man at 
twenty-two or twenty-three, how much sadder will he be 
if he is the same twenty-two years later? Life has been 
cruel to Norman." 

What does Franklin say to thosij who are 
automatically skeptical of films that have numbers in their 
titles? "All I can say is, judge for yourself. I'll go out on 
a limb. 1 think that anybody who hjoks at our film 
objectively will not be disappointed. I think that our film 
evokes what we remember of the original, but, most 
important, it is a film in its own right. What I hope will 
happen is that the two films will merge and become one 
larger film." 18 

PeiWns, as lh« new tpdoted Noiman Bates, recelvos the tender 
touch Meg TOy In hycho II. 


Anthony Perkins is a Psycho II), Perkins talked to us Perkins: Well, I don't mind, I was not concerned, 

haunted man, and Norman about the sequel and his because people who TZ; Is it true that you were 

Bates is his ghost. Ever since twenty-three-year relationship reminisce about the film offered another Psycho II and 

Perkins's performance as the with Norman totes. always have a smile on their that you were even asked to 

knife-wieldirig transvestite TZ: Do you ever have bad face, because they enjoyed direcdit? 

schizophrenic in Alfred dreams about Norman totes? being taken in by the movie. Perkins: Yes, but you can 

Hitchcock's classic film Psycho Perkins: No, Norman's a pal, TZ: What would Mr. Hitchcock offer someone anything, and 

(1960), the actor and Norman really. I think he'd make a have to sgy about a sequel? if you don't have the rights 

Bates have been inseparable good friend. He's loyal and Perkins: I don't know. The you can't make the film. I 

in the minds of millions of sensitive and vulnerable and sequel was made with a must say that that wasn't a 

filmgoers. So definitive was imaginative. great amount of care. No one bad script either. 

Perkins in the role that he's TZ: But he does kill people. wanted to smudge anyone's TZ: How has Norman Bates 

virtually become the icon of Perkins: He's not himself when memory of the original. It's char:ged in the twenty-two 

psychosis in film mythology, he does that. been done with an eye to years between Psycho and 

the standard against which all TZ What effect has Psycho had reverence. Psycho II? 

subsequent film crazies have on your life and your career? TZ: Is there any truth to the Perkins.- He's older but wiser, 

been measured. Perkins: Well, at first it was story that Hitchcock treated He realizes that he has a 

For years Perkins tried to smothering— for the first actors like cattle? potential for stronge behavbr, 

exorcise the ghost of Norman decade. In the secorb Perkins: He certainly had a whereas before he was only 

but failed. Almost every char- decade, I grew to appreciate reputatton for it, and a lot of an innocent party protecting 

acter Perkins played seemed it. My wife orrce said, "You've actors have reinforced that somexane he loved. He tries 

— to filmgoers, if not to the got such resistance to this reputation. But he always hard to rehabilitate himself, 

actor himself — extensions of movie and to people coming treated me perfectly compxan- He realizes that he has 

Norman, for in films such as up and talking to you about it. iorrably — and collaboratively, something of a name arourb 

The Fool Killer (1964), Pretty Why don't you just try getting as well. He even gave me town He wants to start over. 

Poison (1968), Catch-22 behind it?" From that time on some money to buy the TZ: Did Ed Gein, the man who 

(1970), Mahogany (1975), and I've found it much easier to clothes I thought would be inspired Robert Bloch's original 

Winter Kills (1979) he offered live with. right for Norman. novel Psycho, ever indicate to 

us a gallery of doomed misfits TZ: Why was Psycho such a TZ: What first attracted you you in any way that he'd seen 

who are often more worthy of success? to the sequel? your performance? 

our sympathy than their many Perkins: Because it wasn't Perkins: Just holding a script Perkins: Oh, I used to get lots 

victims. exploitation or a rip-off. It was in my hands that said Psycho of let’ers from him, at least 

Today, Perkins has declared a good tale with a great twist // was a blast. In additfon, I two or three a week. No, 

a truce with totes. In fact, he's ending. Audiences liked found it a real page-turner. really I'm just kbdingl i really 

playing hirn again in the up- Norman. He didn't bother TZ: Did you have any reserva- don't ktx)w. 

coming Universal film Psycho anybody until people started tions about the project? TZ: Will Psycho II recreate the 

II, a sequel to Hitchcock's bothering him. Perkins: Like what? seduc;tive ghoulishness of the 

thriller directed by Australian TZ: It's said that the people in TZ: Like that the filmmakers original? 

filmmaker Richard Franklin. Psycho II don't leave Norman were tampering with a classic. Perkins: I hope so, because 

Now living in California with his alone. Perkins: Weil, if it had been a that seductive ghoulishness is 

wife Berry Berenson and their Perkins: No, they just can't remake I might have worried the heart of the American 

two sons, Elvis and Osgood (in leave him alone. about that. But since we were Gothb horror story. Seductive 

a weird twist, Osgood plays TZ: And Psycho fans don't only respectfully suggesting a ghoulshness is a fine way to 

Norman Bates as a child in leave you abne either. graft onto the original branch, descr be it. — JV 

56 Twilight Zone 

Illustration by Robert Morello 

Dm GDq© [^D©D(iI GDq© ®^0mgi SDqqd’D’s 


r—y s a child, I was terrified of the cherry tree growth lay in ranks so thick that the sounds of the set- 

/ A \ field. I did not know what it was that affected tied world vanished, and children venturing there 

Z_nJ me so— not that a child needs reasons for terror. heard nothing that had not been heard a thousand 
I knew, though, that no other place on the vast farm years earlier. 

sent such heart-stopping apprehension thrilling through Of course we told stories in those days, my 

me every time I went there; the sensation that some- brothers and sisters and I, to the limits of our imagina- 

thing waited, just beyond sight or feeling, something tions: stories of monsters and ghosts. Such creatures 

wrong and frightening, there in the field of the great would have thrived in those deep swamps, and I could 

dying cherry tree. have feared them, but I did not. We went there to pick 

Many other places on the farm might seem flowers, and now and then we played hide and seek in 

more threatening. There was, for instance, a deep the trackless wild. Fear of the swamp was an adult 
wood that settled gradually into a tangled swamp, and fear, and it came later, 
there were places far into the swamp where the maze Even on the way to that far corner of the farm 

of untouched trees and fallen logs and primordial where the cherry tree field lay, there were places where 

58 Twilight Zone 

ml GSCPGQS Eo gG(o](o]Gff©D(3 

I might have been afraid. The lane ran, at one point, 
through a willov^^ swamp, and, by mid-summer, the 
willows' yellow blossoms had vanished and tall sap- 
lings, rising far above a child's sight, tipped across the 
lane and sent rolling shadows over the tracks. 

The willows grew thick and their roots went 
deep to seek and hold moisture. A child knows, with- 
out being told, that it is in these moist, steamy-warm, 
unvisited places that odd things grow. Still, we were 
not afraid; the willow swamp was our hideout, and the 
curling trail cut an opening we used as a fort. We 
knew we would not be surprised there. We talked 
about the outlaws who hid out in the willow swamp, 
but we did not believe in them, for we had invented 

them ourselves. I walked on the lane barefoot, and per- 
haps I laughed a little nervously sometimes, but I was 
not afraid. 

The field with the cherry tree standing alone, 
out in the middle of it, was as far from the house and 
barn as we could go without trespassing on someone 
else's land. It was nearly three-quarters of a mile back 
the lane, past a thousand landmarks, far for a child to 
go, even on the magic errand of calling a father home 
for supper. ' 

The field itself was bleak and almost barren. 
Crops there were never quite as good as they should 
have been. The slope where the cherry tree stood was 
strewn with rocks, the broken bones of the earth, scat- 

Twiliaht Zone 59 

tered there as though the earth had fought a visceral 
battle with itself. 

But the lane that led there was a happy one, for 
there were bluebirds in hollow posts along the way, and 
there was our father at the end of the journey to call 
home to supper. We could ride home with him as our 
reward for ending his long day in the hot dry dust of the 
field. Sometimes I would ride on his shoulders, or high 
on the steaming back of one of the weary horses, or we 
might bounce along on the iron seat of one of the 
primitive machines he used to cultivate the land. 

Even more than in the field, strangeness lay 
within the tree itself; it was a cancerous claw clutching 
at the sky, its bark flaking off like snake scales, twigs 
littering the ground. It was a big tree, not the kind that 
grows cherries for pies, but a wild cherry tree, and if it 
had been healthy, its wood would have made that tine 
red lumber prized for furniture. It may have been left 
standing for that reason; someone might have hoped to 
harvest it one day, to make furniture of it or sell it at a 
good price. It was perhaps fifty feet high, the trunk too 
large to reach around; several of its limbs had the girth 
of a ship's masf. Once it had had the promise of be- 
coming a majestic tree, but now it was a rotting wreck, 
with spaces in the trunk where unknown things holed 
up, whole branches dead, and, some years, hardly 
more than a token of foliage. It was dying. But it had 
been dying for as long anyone could remember. 

Anything dying is an affront to a farmer, whose 
business it is to nurture growing things. One would 
have expected the tree to be taken down, not just be- 
cause it was ugly, as a sick calf or a rotten tooth is ug- 
ly, but because it was an obstacle in the middle of a 
cultivated field. It broke the pattern of work, scram- 
bled the lines of corn rows. Worse, it shaded out, even 
with its pathetic growth, a big patch of ground, so that 
whatever was planted near it grew thin and was hardly 
worth harvesting. 

The tree stayed, though, and I did not know 
why, unless there was still some faint hope that it 
might one day make a good log of lumber. I did not 
think about it consciously, because a child does not. 

Yet my terror of the field went deeper than the simple 
unease of something being wrong. 

It was on a crackling hot day in July that I 
learned why the tree terrified me. It was my twelfth 
summer, the last time of childhood, when the stirrings 
of adolescence are felt and the threat of manhood is at 
last revealed, yet the unpredictable energy of childish- 
ness still prevails, rushing to the surface now and then 
so that conflicting torrents tear a Doy between his bare- 
foot past and his shod future. I walked the lane be- 
tween the drying fields, beside dipping grain and the 
dark green corn, past the mown hayfields where the 
first promise of summer had been harvested and which 
now lay dormant and where the cornstalks reached 
toward fall harvest as I toward manhood. I trotted 
around the swamp and ducked through the tunnel of 
willows, crossed an opening, and turned to where my 
father rode the horse-drawn cultivator through the 
corn, and I saw the man hanging in the cherry tree. 

He was black. Not black as a Negro is black, 
but burned black, as Hell must be burned black by in- 
fernal heat. He was black with age, black from long 
exposure to the stains of time. His clothing was black, 
and his feet were anchored 'in the wind by black boots, 
which pointed down and marked the center of his eter- 
nal wind-blown swinging circle, the pivot of his endless 
dance. His hands were black, too, where they hung at 
his sides, black as if from long contact with leather 
stained by horse sweat. His nails were black as well, 
and broken as if from some kind of struggle. One arm 
hung oddly. 

My gaze was drawn up and held beyond my 
will, and I expected his eyes to be black, too. But then 
I heard a crow caw somewhere, and I saw that there 
were no eyes in the sockets. But the holes where the 
eyes had been seemed black. 

I could not scream, although 1 tried. I ran to my 
father, who rose from his seat behind the cultivator, 
and I leaped on him. He was startled. He stopped the 
horses, which had not noticed anything because of 
their blinders, and I turned him to the tree where the 
man hung, but my father saw nothing. 

Still, he was patient with me, and I rode his lap 
to supper, but could not eat. My mother fed me warm 
milk and toast with sugar, and I went to bed early. 

And wakened late, in the darkness of the child- 
forbidden hours, and heard voices, and crept to the 
stairwell and listened. 

"I went to see Uncle Hugh," my father was say- 
ing. "You know how he is; if you buy him a beer, he'll 
tell you stories. I think he makes most of them up, but 
you can't be sure." 

I could hear the noises my mother made as she 
sewed. She had always had a special fondness for the 
old man, who was nobody's uncle as far as we knew. 
It was just some materal instinct reaching out from her 
to his loneliness. 

60 Twilight Zone 

"At first, he didn't want to tell me anything. 
Said nothing funny ever happened here that he knew 
about. But after he'd had a couple of beers, he kind of 
grinned at me— God, his teeth are black and awful, 
those he's still got — and he started to laugh. 

"Long back, not long after the Civil War, Hugh 
said, something funny did happen on this place." 

"My, how would he know that?" It was my 
mother. "Is he really that old?" 

"Well, like I said, I don't know if any of this is 
true. But if he was a boy right after the Civil War, he'd 
be in his late seventies now. Maybe so. I don't rightly 
know how old he is. 

"Anyway, as Hugh tells it, a traveling man 
came through here one time. You know they were still 
scouting out the county for pine lumber then, and 
there was a hotel in town. So this stranger put up at 
the hotel, and stayed for a few days, but he didn't 
seem to be scouting for lumber or anything else anyone 
could make out. Odd one. 

"And then one day he paid his bill and started 
to leave town. Some of the boys noticed that he was 
leading two horses, and he'd just had the one when he 
came to town. So because he was such an odd one, 
they put it to him about them. Figured maybe he stole 
them. But he wouldn't tell 'em anything, and tried to 
just ride off. Well, Tiny Johnson — I guess you wouldn't 
know him, but I just remember him and they called 
him Tiny, because he was so big — Tiny jumped him 
and the first thing they knew, the stranger had a 
busted arm and was passed out. 

"So they looked into his saddle bags, and they 
didn't find any bill of sale or anything — not that every- 
body had bills of sale in those days — but they did find 
some money and a bottle of good whiskey, and they 
shared out the money and drank the whiskey and one 
thing led to another, and old Hugh's story is that they 
took him down a back road, back toward the place 
here, and they went down a lane in the dark and they 
found a tree out in the middle of a field, and they 
hanged him, higher 'n hell, from our old cherry tree." 

My parents were silent for a moment. 

"The thing was, they found out next day that 
he'd bought that horse fair and square, and God 
knows why he didn't want to explain himself. So the 
boys, sobered up now, had to go out next day and cut 
him down. Nobody 'd seen him all that time, he being 
back in a field like that, but the crows had got his 
eyes. The boys just threw the body back in the swamp, 
never even buried it. They set the horses loose, and 
pretty soon they turned up at somebody's farm that rec- 
ognized them, and the farmer took 'em back to the 
fellow who sold 'em to the traveling man in the first 
place, and nobody ever came to inquire about it at all." 

In the pause, I could tell that my mother had 
stopped sewing. 

"Then old Hugh, he laughed that creaky old 

He was black. 

Not black as a Negro 
is black, but 
burned black, 
as Hell must be 
burned black 
by infernal heat. 

He was black with age, 
black from long exposure 
to the stains of time. 

laugh of his, and he winks at me and he says. Of 
course, this has nothing to do with you or me.' " 

"My God," my mother said, "He must have 
been one of those 'boys.' " 

"I didn't think of that," my father said. "I guess 
so. How else would he have known? Not the kind of 
thing the boys would have talked about, except among 
themselves." He paused. "But maybe he made the story 
up. Old men do, sometimes, just to have somebody 
listen to them. 

"Anyway," he said, with that voice of his that 
ended talk about things, "like he said, it doesn't have 
anything to do with us. I expect the boy imagined it, 


hat time is thirty years past. My father is long 
dead, and I work the farm myself, and another 
nearby that I bought a few years ago. I do not 
believe in ghosts. 

The cherry tree is still dying. I have never seen 
a tree take so long at dying. It is a Goddamned 
nuisance in that field, and if I get time this fall I will 
take it down. 

This morning, when I went back with the trac- 
tor and wagon to get a load of stone for the fireplace 
we are building in the new family room, the man was 
hanging in the tree again. I had not seen him there for 
a long time. It was early in the day when I went by, 
and I saw that black dead broken body twisting there. 
I could no more stop myself than I could on the first 
day I saw him, thirty years ago. This time the crows 
had gotten only one eye. Late in the afternoon, when I 
went back again, the other eye was gone. 

I did not take my youngest son, who is twelve, 
with me. I don't know what he would see. He can go 
along tomorrow. By then I know the man will be 
gone. I do not think my son will notice that there are 
no crows in the field, that they are busy, noisy, deep 
in the swamp where the body lies. 

I will not tell m.y wife of this. She is from the 
city, and I do not want her to be frightened of the 
country. IS 

Twilight Zone 61 

Illustrations by Peter Kuper 

Confessions of a 

by Isidore Haibltim 


Part One, In Which Our Hero Learns that the 
Journey from Coney Island's Boardwalk to 
Easy Street Is Somewhat Longer than 
Expected. , 

I t was an overcast afternoon in 
March 1969. I was somewhere in 
the mid-forties on Manhattan’s 
West Side, standing in front of a 
swanky restaurant. I was waiting for 
my benefactor, a paperback editor who 
had promised to take me to lunch — my 
first lunch ever with an editor— and to 
purchase a novel I had written. 

I had sweated for this long-delayed 
day; I had dreamed, schemed, and 
plotted, and now it was finally here. 
Could Easy Street be far away? 

Easy Street and I, it should be 
pointed out, are still far from buddies, 
and my own origins lie a good distance 
from the glitter of Publishers' Row. 

I was born in Brooklyn — a Brook- 
lyn few would recognize today. Horse 
and wagon peddlers roamed the streets, 
their carts piled high with fruits and 
vegetables, old clothing, or junk metal. 
Uniformed sanitation men wielding 
long-handled brooms cleaned up after 
the horses. No garbage littered the 
pavements. El trains rumbled overhead, 
while trolley cars clanged below. 
Neither were disfigured by graffiti. The 
air, as a rule, smelled sweet and clean. 
Automobiles all had running boards 
you could stand on, and in winter the 
snows seemed very high indeed. 

Mother and Father first met in 
famed Carnegie Hall, brought together 

by a love of classical music. My dad, 
who in those days earned more as a 
chess and bridge player than as a fancy 
leather-goods cutter (his sometime 
trade), hobnobbed in the gaming clubs 
with the likes of Jascha Heifetz, and our 
Coney Island home was always filled 
with the’ strains of Beethoven, Brahms, 
and Schubert. 

Between them my parents spoke 
four languages perfectly; English, Yid- 
dish, Russian, and Polish. But during 
my early childhood, not an English 
word crossed their lips in my presence. 
I was the victim of a massive con- 
spiracy. Both my parents were Yiddish- 
ists who believed, with millions of 
other Jews, that the Jewish people were 
a nation — not merely, as some would 
have it, a religion— and that all Jews 
should speak Yiddish. 

On the day my parents tried to 
enroll me in Yiddish school, the teacher 
heard me out and shook his head. "It's 
too late," he told them. "He already 
knows too much for the class." When 
at last I ventured out on Surf Avenue, 
within sight of the boardwalk and ear- 
shot of the Atlantic Ocean, I found to 
my consternation that all the natives 
were chatting away in a totally incom- 
prehensible language called English. 

I began making the rounds of Yid- 
dish clubs as a one-boy vaudeville act. 

I wore a large green silken bow tie, 
told jokes, and sang snappy songs — all 
in Yiddish. At one of these recitals, the 

When the author spoke only Yiddish. 

director of th(! famed Yiddish Art 
Theatre offered me a part in his up- 
coming play on Second Avenue. My 
mother, after much soul-searching, de- 
clined the offer on the grounds that I 
was too young for a full-fledged thes- 
pian career. (Somewhere, in an alter- 
nate universe, that great actor, Isidore 
Haiblum, is bringing the house down. 
No one has heai'd of English. Everyone 
in the country speaks only Yiddish.) 

Meanwhile, I was learning English 
from my neighborhood pals as we frol- 
icked under the boardwalk. There was 
only one slight hitch to my mastery of 
the Bard's tongue: to this day I speak it 
with a strange foreign accent as though 
1 were a fugitive from Minsk. 

Aside from that, I grew up like 
any other normal, healthy American 
boy. Almost. 


During the hectic years of the Sec- 
ond World War, leather became a 
scarce commodity, all of it channeled 
into the war effort. Father, with Mom 
and me in tow, moved to Detroit to 
work in a war plant. The auto industry 
in Detroit had been converted to the 
production of jeeps, tanks, and can- 
nons, and the town's population had 
tripled overnight. 

This was long before the Salk vac- 
cine, and polio epidemics, abetted by 
overcrowding, fieriodically laid waste 
to the city. My mother, a disciple of 
the noted health faddist and crank 
Bernarr [sic] Macfadden, followed her 
guru's advice in Physical Culture 
Magazine and kept me out of school lest 
some polio bug zap me. (The disease 
was contagious, .of course, and I have 

62 Twilight Zone 

((lustration by the author 




The author today. 

often wondered if — again — in some 
alternate universe my doppelganger 
who did go to school isn't at this very 
moment making his way down some 
crowded street on crutches.) 

When the truant officers came 
calling, alerted to my afisence by keen- 
eyed public school officials, my mother 
promptly enrolled me in an Orthodox 
yeshiva, a religious school governed by 
rabbis with one eye fixed on the Torah 
(the Old Testament) and the other on 
heaven. The classroonris were small, 
dusty, and crowded, the hours long 
and tedious, and the course of study 
right out of the Middle Ages. Only the 
sounds of traffic outside reminded me 
that I was still part of the twentieth 

My parents, I should add, weren't 
even remotely religious; they were 
Secular Yiddishists, another concept 
entirely. But my dotty mom had her 

and my mother kept me company. The 
bucolic setting and absence of rabbis 
seemed like an ongoing picnic to me. 

To fill the long hours I took to 
reading: Treasure Island, Robinson 
CrusoBj A Tale of Two Cities, Huckle- 
berry Finn, Jules Verne's Mysterious 
Island, Nevada by Zane Grey, James 
Hilton's Lost Horizon, the cartoons of 
Peter Arno. Anything that came my 
way, 1 read. 

But the classics usually took a 
backseat to popular culture, especially 
in Detroit. Peculiarly clad characters in 
multicolored capes and costumes dove 
straight out of the comic books, radio 
speaker, and silver screen of the Satur- 
day matinee and right into my sense of 
self. My true, hidden identity — which I 
shared only with other eight- or nine- 
year-olds — revealed itself most tellingly 
in the nighttime hours as I lay in bed 
waiting for sleep to overtake me. The 
local newsboy always made his round 
at this hour, calling out, "Free Press, 
paper-r-r," his voice growing fainter as 
he moved off through the city, until it 
faintly faded into the night. 

This voice, which still echoes at 
me across the decades, sparked my 
imagination, and, garbed in a cape, 
boots, and a bright red or blue union 
suit with a lightning bolt or a large S 
emblazoned on my chest, 1 would fly 
over the city's rooftops, battling crime. 
In this world of darkest night, crime 
occurred on every street corner. Thugs 
with blazing pistols and tommy guns 
stuck up scores of banks, candy stores, 
and supermarkets, shot citizens by the 
hundreds, tied traffic into knots, and 
even menaced an occasional damsel. 
The cops were either on the run or had 

flying lad in cape and union suit stood 
between mankind and utter chaos. 
Thank God he was up to the job! 

For how many years did I dream 
myself to sleep in this way? Did I ever 
suspect that these flights of fancy— and 
the five- and sbc-page homemade comic 
books I both painstakingly narrated 
and drew, down to the last wham! and 
splat! —were the first hesitant steps of a 
future writer? Not on your life! 


I was twelve years old. When it 
came to the popular arts by now, I was 
second to none. B-movies (Wild Bill 
Elliot as two-fisted Red Ryder; Tom 
Conway's urbane crime-fighter. The 
Falcon; the madcap Laurel and Hardy 
setting the world on its ear), the Sunday 
funnies (The Spirit, Alley Oop, Li'l 
Abner), mountains of comic books (The 
Human Torch, Plastic Man, Captain 
Marvel), and endless radio programs (I 
Love a Mystery, Inner Sanctum, ]ack 
Armstrong) filled my days. I was espe- 
cially fond of a classic kiddie radio 
program called Let's Pretend, which spe- 
cialized in myths, magic, and adventure. 
Every Saturday it came calling at our 
home. One of its stars was Daisy Alden, 
who often, with great relish, played the 
witch, yid was to play, several years 
hence, a prime role in my life. 

Unlike most future fantasy writers, 
I read little science fiction or fantasy in 
my youth. In the early fifties, however, 
I listened to radio's Dimension X and 
its successor, X-Minus One. The stories 
of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, 
Robert Heinlein, and later Robert 
Sheckley, Frederik Pohl, and their 
confreres zoomed through the air- 

reasons for inflicting this burden on 
me. The long-bearded, otherworldly 
rabbis couldn't have cared less whether 
I showed up or not in the yeshiva, as 
long as their monthly bill was paid. 

Mostly I didn't show up. 

But every now and then during 
winter, when the bug took its annual 
powder, there I was, an authentic, cer- 
tified yeshiva bukher, seated dreamily 
in a classroom whose archaic goings- 
on, to this very day, I'emain a deep, 
dark mystery to me. 


During most of spring, summer, 
and fall, I was on permanent leave from 
the ' classrooms and from Detroit itself. 
The first year, I was stcished at a farm 
in upstate Michigan where the livestock 

left town altogether. Only the brave waves, bringing me "From the far hori- 

Twilight Zone 63 

Confessions of a 
Freelance Fantasist 

zons of the unknown . . . tales of new 
dimensions in time and space." (At 
least that's what the announcer said.) 
And I became hooked on the radio 
shows. But to read the stuff, let alone 
write it, never even crossed my mind. 

One afternoon I strolled into a 
Woolworth's five-and-dime store, 
where a display of paperbacks caught 
my eye, their covers depicting various 
scenes of gore, violence, and mayhem. 
Nothing new there— I thrived on the 
stuff. Browsing, I came across a truly 
striking cover: a hand-held pistol was 
shooting a hole though a huge, air- 
brushed golden badge that bore the in- 
triguing inscription. The Return of the 
Continental Op. Above the badge it 
said "Dashiell Hammett" and below, 
"A Dell Mystery." I shelled out 
twenty-five cents and carried my prize 

The volume contained six Conti- 
nental Op stories, and each was a 
* marvel of action and mood. The^ were 
out-and-out fantasies done up in fac- 
tual detail. Their language was loaded 
with slang, idiom, and argot which 
went off like fireworks on the printed 
page. And their first-person narrator, a 
lone man pitted against hostile strang- 
ers, was obviously — me! 


Detroit, rabbis, and my annual 
outings had long since palled, and I 
breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief when at 
last my family returned to its senses and 
headed back to civilization — namely. 
New York. I attended Manhattan's High 
School of Industrial Art (today known 
as Art and Design), bent on becoming a 
commercial artist. Not for nothing had I 
spent years drawing my own comic 
books. In my junior term my lit teacher 
turned out to be none other than Daisy 
Alden, the former witch on Let's Pre- 
tend. Daisy, a petite, perky lady with 
large eyes, bangs, and a neat sense of 
humor, was a distinguished poet as well 
as an actress and teacher, and her 
classes were something special. We read 
Karel Capek's 1921 sf classic play 
R.U.R. (the work that coined the term 
"robot"). The Dada and Surrealist 
movements we studied were, in Daisy's 
hands, still aboil with life and excite- 
ment. I wrote book reviews and short 
stories, mostly humorous satires not too 
unlike (as Daisy pointed out years later) 
my future output, and ended up editing 
the high school yearbook and literary 
arts magazine. I enjoyed lit more than 

My true, hidden identity. 

drawing and decided then 
and there to become a writer. 

On graduation day I also walked 
off with the English niedal, but not 
without a hassle. The department chair- 
man objected that I couldn't spell my 
way out of a paper bag, but Daisy and 
her cohorts voted him down. (After all, 
as she later explained to me, Ernest 
Hemingway was a lousy speller, too.) 
This triumph of illiteracy prompted me 
to forgo brushing up on my spelling 
for the next couple of decades. 


I enrolled at CCNY and majored in 
English. My lack of early schooling had 
left a few gaps in my education. My 
mastery of math was all but nonexistent, 
and I carried three spelling variants of 
every word in my head, all of them 
wrong. My years of heavy reading, 
however, put me in good stead. I zipped 
through my English and social science 
courses like a quiz kid, my lamentable 
spelling deemed a mere eccentricity by 
my profs. Little did they know. 

I also edited the college humor 
magazine. Mercury, which poked fun at 
college life and other handy targets, a 
sort of provincial National Lampoon. 
To avoid the fate of my predecessors 
who were suspended, I shrewdly excised 
all dirty words from the magazine. 

Meanwhile, I was taking honors in 
Yiddish with Dr. Max Weinreich, who 
happened to be the world's foremost 
Yiddish linguist — and was also a fan of 
none other than Mickey Spillane. We 
strolled together to the subway each 
afternoon chatting about hard-boiled 
dicks and Yiddish lit. He urged me to 
read Isaac Bashevis Singer in the orig- 
inal Yiddish. I did, and bumped into all 
my lost ancestors, who strutted and 
cavorted through his pages. In years to 
come I would reread Singer's works 

time and again and always rediscover 
my Yiddish self.” 


By the time I graduated, I was 
looking forward to a career as a profes- 
sional writer. Easy enough for a hotshot 
like me, right? I decided to emulate my 
humorist idols, Elenchley, Thurber, and 
Perelman, and proceeded to bombard 
The New Yorker with short — and what 
I considered to E)e side-splitting— essays 
about my family, friends, and Upper 
West Side neighliorhood — essays which 
The New Yorker immediately shot back 
by return mail. 

Lowering my sights, I went off to 
visit Harvey Kurtzman, then editor of 
Humbug magazine, in search of a 
freelance assignment. Kurtzman had 
founded Mad in 1952, and the work 
he did during the following three 
years, before jumping ship in a policy 
wrangle, had helped set the tone of 
American humor in the sixties and 
beyond. Kurtzn-;an would make an 
ideal boss, I imagined, but I never even 
got to meet him. 

Harry Chester, Humbug's business 
manager, was the only one holding 
down a desk when 1 arrived at their 
small Madison Avenue office. He 
looked through the material I'd brought 
along, mostly my old Mercury pieces, 
and shook his head sadly. 

"Let me tell you something," 
Chester said. 

"Anything at all," I assured him. 

Chester sighed. "Humbug is on its 
last legs. We've got distribution prob- 
*Look for Isidore Haiblum's interview 
with Singer in an upcoming Twilight 
Zone. — Ed. 

64 Twilight Zone 

lems — we're losing money on each 
issue. We're not going to make it." 

"Then there's no job?" 

"Hell, there's almost no magazine." 

"What about my work?" I asked. 

Chester glanced clown at my 
material. He grinned. "Not bad. But let 
me give you a piece of advice." 

I told him that I could use any 
good advice he had lying around. 

"Find yourself another line of 
work," he said. "Anything except free- 
lance writing. It's for the birds." 

"The birds?" 

Chester nodded. "There's no 
money in it, son." 

None of my professors at college 
had mentioned this minor drawback. 
Maybe they didn't know? The only 
ones to have previously I'aised the issue 
with me were the frantic parents of the 
girl I'd hoped to marry. (I didn't.) 

I left Chester's office more dis- 
heartened than ever, but still deter- 
mined to be a writer. If the great Ham- 
mett could do it, why not I? Besides, 
what would my ex-profs think if I 
called it quits so soon? What would I 


All literary ambitions, however, 
were quietly put on the back burner 
when I received my draft notice. The 
hitch was good for two years, which was 
two years more than I wanted to serve. 
I tried to enlist in the National Guard 
instead, but I was given the brush-off. 
The Guard was booked solid for the 
next year. 

It was midsummer. I could still 
apply to grad school, thus buying 
time, but it was too late to put in for a 
scholarship. And I was flat broke. 
Someone suggested that I get a job 
with the New York City Welfare De- 
partment as a social investigator. 

The what? 

I was totally ignorant of such mat- 
ters. City College was no ivory tower, 
but my closest brush with poverty dur- 
ing my four years as English major had 
been confined to the pages of John 
Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. 

In desperation I signed up with the 
Welfare Department anyway. After a 
three-week training period, I was dis- 
patched to the Harlem V/elfare Center. 
It was my job to interview dozens of 
welfare recipients in tht^ir homes and 
ascertain whether they really needed 
the money Big Brother was dishing out 
to them. At the same time, I entered 

Freelance writing is for the birds. 

NYU grad school, thus postponing my 
military service. 

My welfare charges were called 
"clients," and nosing around in their 
lives was a disheartening affair. Whole 
families had been on welfare since the 
Great Depression. The poverty I en- 
countered was absolutely appalling. 
Sour-smelling flats in ramshackle 
tenements looked like war zones, with 
cracked and peeling walls, broken fur- 
niture, and shattered windows. Illness, 
illiteracy, anger, and despair had sav- 
aged these people. Armies of social 
workers armed with blank checks and 
scores of training programs could hard- 
ly have been expected to make a dent 
in such conditions. 

In those days clients were not 
allowed to own televisions, which were 
considered luxuries. But half the homes 
I visited had a tv set. To report it 
would have gotten the previous in- 
vestigator in Dutch for failing to note 
this misdeed in his report; it would 
also have put the clients in hot water 
and tied me up for days in unseemly 
and embarrassing investigations. Every- 
one involved would have hated it. I 
turned a blind eye to these and other 
violations, and clients began to greet 
me as "the good investigator." Finally 
I'd made good. 

A friend had been punching me in 
and out on the time clock, so I was able 
to attend classes at NYU. Instead of 
"investigating" three clients a day, I 
would check up on twelve and take the 
next couple of days off. But when a fire 
rendered a houseful of clients homeless 
on the morning I was ostensibly inter- 
viewing them, and they showed up in 
tatters at the welfare center, I knew it 
was time to put in for my retirement 
papers. Still, I'd earned enough dough 
to see me through the year and get me 
into the National Guard. 

As I went off for six months' ac- 
tive duty, I received a gift from my 
bosom pal Stuart Silver, a one-time 
roommate and sometime collaborator 
who would eventually land in the 
history books by designing the famed 
King Tut and Vatican exhibitions at 

the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Stuart slipped me Robert Sheckley's 
Ballantine original Untouched by 
Human Hands and The Puppet Masters 
by Robert A. Heinlein. In the service I 
spent lots of time standing on' long, 
seemingly immobile lines, and so could 
give these books my full attention. 
Now I became a fan. 

I survived two months of basic 
training at Fort Dix and four months 
of duty as a medic in sunny San An- 
tonio and, upon my discharge, re- 
turned to New York, noting with some 
dismay that I was back_ where I started 
from — namely, unemployed and going 
broke. I resumed writing small, unpub- 
lishable pieces and got a part-time job 
with a national patriotic institute. For 
four hours a day I sat in a small, stuffy 
cubbyhole, stuffed envelopes with 
various pamphlets extolling the virtues 
of democracy, and sent them off to in- 
quiring school kids. The job — and the 
entire institute — consisted of this and 
nothing more. To lessen the tedium, I 
installed a radio, turned to WQXR, 
and caught Brahms, Mozart, and Rach- 
maninoff as I worked. It didn't help. I 
took to drawing little grinning Uncle 
Sams in top hats and stripes, prancing 
about and waving. I captioned these, 
"Hi, ther^!" and inserted them in the 
envelopes along with the pamphlets. 

An envelope was misaddressed 
and returned to my boss, an ex- 
colonel. He called me into his office. In 
his hand was one of my Uncle Sams. 

"Did you do this?" he demanded. 

I admitted it. 


I turned to go. 

"You've got the wrong attitude, 
Haiblum," the colonel yelled after me. 
"You won't get far in the job market." 

/ took to drawing little 
grinning Uncle Sams. 



Have an agent find you an editor. 

The colonel was right. 

Following the guidelines laid down 
by my college English prof, Irwin 
Stark, I continued to stay far away 
from any job requiring writing. ("It will 
only drain you," Stark had warned 
me.) I found work, briefly, as a Cana- 
dian booking agent for a bunch yf folk 
singers, and ended up spending hours 
on the long-distance phone with coffee- 
house managers throughout Canada, 
pleading vainly for engagernents. I 
joined a part-time survey on sex spon- 
sored by Columbia University, and 
another on health, happiness, and men- 
tal stability, while I waited for fame 
and fortune to find me. (They didn't.) 
These jobs all look swell when adorn- 
ing a dust jacket, but in real life they 
are strictly the pits. 

When the Health Department sud- 
denly phoned me — my former survey 
boss had recommended me — and of- 
fered me a full-time post which en- 
tailed lots of sitting around, I grabbed 
it. And over a period of months, while 
waiting for work to materialize on my 
desk or riding the subway to and from 
the office, I wrote my first novel, a 
tough-guy thriller somewhat in the 
style of my hero, Dashiell Hammett. 

I had been hoarding my paychecks 
for months and had enough to live on 
for at least a year. The Health Depart- 
ment was driving me batty; each day 
in the office seemed a day wasted. I 
was simply not suited for a nine-to-five 
stint. I quit my job, and at last was 
convinced that my novel would sell. 
Even if it didn't. I'd have time to write 
another, and surely that one would 
sell. Unfortunately I knew no one in 
publishing. I had been knocking 
around for years as a would-be writer, 
but it had never occurred to me to 
make friends with anyone in publish- 
ing. How about that? 


1 pause here, for it occurs to me 
that many readers of this piece may 
themselves be beginning writers who 
share this problem. 

There is more than one way of 
breaking into the field, I am glad to 
report. But before noting any, a cau- 
tionary word from the industry itself 
might be in order. 

According to the New York 
Times, publishers complain that "theirs 
is an industry which turns out the 
equivalent of 40,0G0 new products a 
year, loses money on eighty percent of 
them, and earns on average less than 
half of what it could earn simply by 
investing in municipal bonds rather 
than books." Neat, eh? 

The Times also quotes writers' 
groups to the effect that their members 
earn an average (give or take a buck) 
of $5,000 a year. 

Frankly, I believe neither writers' 
groups nor publishers. But I am dis- 
couraged by their figures nonetheless. 

If you are not discouraged and are 
still intent on being a writer, here's the 
simplest way of getting into the busi- 
ness; mail your unsolicited masterpiece 
to the publisher of your choice. 

This method, though, is not highly 
recommended, for you will land in the 
slush pile, where you will either be ig- 
nored or come to the attention of the 
editorial assistant, which is virtually 
the same thing. 

Other and better methods are; 

Have a writer send you to his 
agent or editor. Have an editor find 
you an agent. Have an agent find you 
an editor. 

You can meet writers, agents, and 
editors through a buddy, at conven- 
tions, and even at the neighborhood 
bar sometimes. And you can always 
ask a friend to ask a friend, etc. Right? 

Recommendations are the key to 
all three groups. 

Agents who charge a fee for evalu- 
ating your work are more apt to give 
you the business than get you into it. 
The few in this category who are on 
the up-and-up vvrill still not personally 
peruse your ms. Again, you'll be in the 
hands of the assistant office boy. And 
paying for the privilege to boot. 

I was lucky. My old friend Stuart 
Silver came to my aid. His wife had an 
uncle who was a stockholder of Lancer 
Books, a small, now defunct paperback 
house. (You w'ere expecting maybe 
Farrar, Straus &: Giroux?) This uncle, 
whom I never even met, set up an 
appointment with Lancer editor-in- 
chief Larry Shaw. 


Shaw is currently rumored to be an 
agent in Hollywood. But in the fifties 
he wrote science fiction and had edited 
two well-thought-of sf anthologies. My 
Hammett-like novel — replete with dated 
thirties slang, improbable events, and 
outlandish characters — appealed to 
Shaw, who, no doubt, had been reared 
on similar genre shenanigans. He of- 
fered to buy it. But his boss, who 
owned the company, had been check- 
ing sales figures, and noted that 
mysteries were doing poorly that year. 
He vetoed the sale. "Thus my first — and 
what turned out to be my only — offer 
for this opus went by the board. 

But before too long, Shaw had left 
Lancer, moved to Dell, and asked to 
see me about purchasing a novel. 
Could fame and fortune be far behind? 

I waited for Larry Shaw, my bene- 
factor, that spring day for close to an 
hour, but he never did appear. My 
worst fears seemed to be realized. 
Shaw had changed his mind. As I 
headed home, I saw my career in 
ruins, finished before it even began. 

But Shaw phoned the next day. 
His son had been in a traffic accident, 
and he — Shaw — had had to rush to the 
hospital . . . Another lunch date was 
set, one that was kept. I sat in a restau- 
rant, not sure who was supposed to 
pay the bill, writer or editor, and lis- 
tened to Shaw tell me what turned out 
to be rather fatetul news; He could no 
longer buy my private-eye novel, or for 
that matter any mystery or detective 
story I might write, because editor 
Shaw's sole province at Dell was — of 
all things — science fiction, fg 

— To be continued 

66 Twilight Zone 


0 feel bad because I'rn always making trouble for and it was a Sunday and we went on a picnic. It 

people. I know the reason, too. It's because I'm started to rain, oh boy it was raining hard, so Mother 

simple-minded. The kids at school teased me be- and Dad got in the back seat to finish the sandwiches, 

cause I couldn't pass the exams. Mother told me not to and they were talking and not paying too much atten- 

pay any attention when kids called me retarded. But tion to me in the front seat. I thought it would be nice 

from the way she looked, I knew I was doing some- to let them enjoy the picnic and not bother them about 

thing wrong. Even though I'm fifty years old now, no driving home, so I started the engine by turning the 

matter how hard I try. I'm sometimes still a bother to key. Then I put the lever on the "D" and stepped on 

people. Mostly I upset jjeople I care about, like my the gas, just like Dad always did. Dad yelled because 

friend Freddie and my wonderful wife Virginia. someone had planted a tree too close to the side of the 

The worst time I was a bother to my Mother road and we had a bad accident. Mother and Dad got 

and Dad happened when I was fifteen. We had this car killed, and that tree hurt me pretty bad, too. I lost an 

• t Twilight Zone 67 

Illustration by Nicola Cuti 

eye and hurt my leg and my face got burned. I still 
have the scars. 

After I got out of the hospital, I got a nice glass 
eye and went to a special school for a while. When I 
got out I went to live with Auntie. She's dead now, 
but she told me things like I shouldn't drive cars be- 
cause it's dangerous and can get me into trouble. So I 
don't drive. I always take buses to work, except for 
when Virginia had a car and she drove me to the com- 
pany and back. She used to be real pretty. 

You want to know how I met Virginia? I got a 
job in the office of Morris Industries^ They make file 
cabinets, and I work as a file clerk. Everybody thinks 
that's pretty funny — file clerk in a file factory — so it 
must be. Virginia, she was doing some typing in the 
office when I got hired. She used to tell me she wasn't 
paid enough. I could tell right off she liked me, because 
she said I was the only idiot she could complain to 
without getting into trouble. Our supervisor doesn't 
like complaints. 

I told Virginia I was sure glad I didn't need 
more money. In fact, I put most of it in the bank. 

"Big deal, Harry," Virginia said to me. "You got 
three thousand saved, I bet." 

"No," I told her. "I got one hundred and fifty 
thousand saved." She laughed and said, "On your 
salary?" That's what she asked me, like she didn't 
believe me. 

Well, you should have seen her face the next 
day when we were alone and I showed her the bank- 
books. Of course, I told her how a lot of the money 
came from what Mother and Dad and Auntie left for 
me, but every two weeks I put even more money in. I 
took out house taxes and clothes and food money, and 
the rest went in the bank. 

ell, oh boy, I could tell right away that Vir- 
ginia liked me better than ever. Later that 
morning she asked me to go out on a date, 
and she explained what a date was. It was fun. I'll tell 

The supervisor told me to stay away from Vir- 
ginia because aU Virginia wanted was money. I told 
Virginia that, and she explained that the supervisor 
was a crazy lady and I shouldn't tell her anything 
about our dates because she didn't have a man of her 
own and she would be jealous. Virginia asked me if I 
could keep our dates a secret. 

Oh boy, was that fun, keeping it a secret. I 
didn't even tell the supervisor about Freddie, my best 
friend. He wasn't really my friend at first. He was Vir- 
ginia's friend, but he liked me and he became my best 
friend. In fact, he was the only real friend I ever had, 
though I don't get to see him very much anymore. 
There is a fellow at work, Joe, and we have a cup of 
coffee once in a while, but he isn't a real friend. A real 
friend talks to you for more than five minutes. Freddie 
used to talk to me for more than fifteen minutes, 
68 Twilight Zone 

telling me how lucky I was a good-looking girl 
like Virginia was crazy about mie. 

Oh boy, I couldn't believe how lucky I was to 
have a girl like Virginia crazy about me and a friend 
like Freddie who said he would be my best man when 
Virginia asked me to marry her. We all drove to Reno, 
and Virginia and me got mari'ied in this Courtship 
Chapel and it only cost thirty-five dollars, and then 
Virginia and Freddie and me drove back. We used Vir- 
ginia's car, because since age fifteen I don't drive 

Well, when we got back to town, Virginia 
moved into my house because it was bigger than her 
apartment. I'm glad we got msirried, but I don't see 
what the fuss is all about. The only difference between 
married and not married is you live in the same house 
and you spend a lot of time together. My friend 
Freddie spent a lot of time in our place with Virginia 
and me, and that was nice too. I miss Freddie almost 
as much as I miss Virginia. 

My wife did two wonderful things for me. 
Every night she fixed me a drink of whiskey and sugar 
called an old-fashioned, and she gave it to me before I 
went to sleep. It sure tasted good. 

The other wonderful thing Virginia did was to 
tell me how to be happy. "Do you ever feel discour- 
aged, Harry?" she asked me, and I told her no. I could 
see she was real disappointed, so I said, "What do you 
mean?" She said that everyone gets discouraged, just 
like the day before, when I wanted to finish filing some 
reports but the janitor turned out the lights. I was mad 
and had to take the bus home, since Virginia had al- 
ready left with her car. She could tell I was mad at the 
janitor, and she told me that's v/hat being discouraged 

"Oh, sure," I said, and I could see that I made 
her happy. 

"Well, Harry," she said, "you want to learn 
how to stop being discouraged?" 

I said, "Of course." I'm simple-minded, not 


"You gotta write down what you're discouraged 
about, Harry," she told me, "and then it will go away 
and be all better." I said, "Good!" and she told me 
what to write down. / miss Mother and Dad and 
Auntie and for 32 years all I do is work. I'm very tired 
and I don't want to go on. I'm sorry. Harry. That's 
what I wrote on the piece of paper, and Virginia took 
it and put it in a drawer. 

"Now you'll see, Harry," she said to me. "You 
won't be discouraged anymore." 

Oh boy, that made me happy. I still remember 
the night I wrote that down, and I remember when 
Virginia' brought me my old-fashioned later on. It 
tasted funny, but it was still good. 

Well, I tell you, something must have been 
wrong with that drink, because the next thing I know 
I'm lying on a table in the funeral home and I don't 

Two hours 

after they buried me 
I began to feel 
very cramped^ 
so / began to try to get 
out of the coffin. , 

have any clothes on. Ccin you believe it, they thought I 
was dead! I once saw on television where some man 
they thought was dead sat up in this funeral home and 
scared everyone. It was the same with me, except I 
couldn't sit up. I tried, but it was like I was paralyzed. 

I couldn't sit up and I couldn't even help the man and 
lady dress me for my funeral in my black suit. But 
boy, when I think about it now, was I lucky! If I lived 
in a city instead of a small town they would have cut 
me up first to see what I died of, and then I really 
would have been in trouble, but the coroner said it was 
okay to bury me right ciway because my note proved it 
was suicide. Wasn't that dumb of him? 

Anyway, it was a very nice funeral. Small but 
nice. Besides Virginia and Freddie and the minister, my 
supervisor was there, and I could hear her crying even 
if I couldn't see her. Joe was there, too, even though he 
isn't a real friend, and so was Auntie's lawyer. I heard 
the minister say that life's burdens were over for me 
and I would find eterrial peace, and I heard Virginia 
say to the minister before the funeral even started how 
awful it was for her having a husband of only four 
months take poison. Wasn't that dumb of her? She 
didn't even know the difference between poison and 
funny-tasting whiskey. 

Anyway, after the service, they put the coffin in 
a hearse and drove to the cemetery. Oh, boy, I sure 
am glad I told Auntie's lawyer that I wanted to be 
buried! When I got burned in the car so many years 
ago, I knew I didn't ever again want anything to do 
with fire, and the lawyer told that to Virginia when she 
wanted to have me cremated. He told her that my 
wishes were to be respected, that's what he said, and of 
course Virginia agreed. 

Well, when I felt that dirt coming down on top 
of the coffin, I said to myself, "You've got yourself 
into a fine mess, Harr}'." I know now what was hap- 
pening. I wasn't taking any breaths that you could see, 
not deep breaths or any thing like that. It was like those 
religious men in India v/ho put themselves into a trance 
and can stay buried for a long time. I even saw on 
television where some man could stay in a box in the 
bottom of a swimming pool. Well, that's what I was 
doing in that coffin. 

I don't know about those religious men, but let 
me tell you, two hours after they buried me I began to 
feel very cramped, so 1 began to try to get out of the 
coffin. Oh boy, was I glad when I was finally able to 
move! And you can't say old Harry wasn't born under 
a lucky star. My funeral was late in the afternoon, so 
they didn't pack in as much dirt as usual. I guess they 

were going to finish the job in the morning. But I still 
had to work so hard that, right near the end, my glass 
eye fell out. I didn't waste any time looking for it un- 
derground, let me tell you. I'm simple-minded but I'm 
no fool. 

hen I finally got out, I was a mess. And 
would you believe it, as long as I've lived in 
our town, I still got mixed up. Instead of 
heading for the cemetery road, I stumbled towards the 
woods behind the cemetery. I was tired, too, let me tell 
you. So I slept a few hours, and when I woke up, oh 
boy, did I feel good! It was cold and dark and rainy 
and it was very windy, but I didn't mind. The air 
smelled so good. I knew how happy Virginia and 
Freddie would be to find out that I wasn't really dead, 
so I started out for the house. By this time I knew 
where I was, and it was only thirty minutes from 
where I live. 

I just walked and walked, and pretty soon I was 
at the house. I was glad to be out of the rain, let me 
tell you. I got the key from under the stairs. That was 
another good thing Virginia taught me. I used to lose 
keys and then I couldn't get into the house, but she 
showed me where to hide an extra key. I knew I 
looked a mess with my black funeral suit soaked and 
my limp worse because of the rain and my empty eye 
socket all red, but what difference did that make? 
Virginia would still be happy. I walked up the 3tairs 
real quietly so the surprise Vould be better than ever. 

I could hear Virginia and Freddie laughing in the 
bedroom, and I wondered why they were so happy. 
Maybe they had already found out I was alive. That 
would have spoiled my surprise. But they were laugh- 
ing about something else, I guess. I slowly turned the 
doorknob to the bedroom, and they became real quiet. 
I don't know who they were expecting, but it wasn't 
me. When I opened the door wide and shouted, "I'm 
back!" they both screamed. It was a funny thing that 
on a cold and rainy night, they were both in bed with- 
out any clothes on. I guess they were holding onto 
each other because they missed me so much, but they 
ruined my surprise because they kept on screaming. 

It's nice that my wife and my best friend are 
together now. Of course, they're not really together, 
because when I go to visit them, they're in separate 
wings of this place they call a sanitarium. They both 
have white hair — maybe they drank some of that 
funny tasting whiskey, too — and Virginia isn't pretty 
anymore. Also they don't talk, which is kind of silly. I 
tell Virginia to write it down if she is discouraged and 
she will feel better, but she never listens to me. 

I miss having Virginia at home, and I miss 
Freddie too, but you know what I miss most of all? 
Oh boy, will this surprise you! I miss those old- 
fashioneds. But I don't drink anymore. After what hap- 
pened to me, I know you can't trust whiskey. It can go 
bad on you. 10 

Twilight Zone 69 



^ Ik jt 

"What is it, dear?" This was spoken very 

"Tuck sheet! P'eese!" Two round dark eyes 
peered accusingly over the top edge of the sheet. 

With a sigh, the mother tucked the sheet tightly 
beneath the side of the lower end of the mattress. 
"Why in the world you have to have that top sheet 
tucked that way is beyond me." But it was done now, 
and the eyes had closed in sleep. 

"Barbara, you know you want to go. All the 
rest of the girls are going — Doctor Jarvis's daughter, 
the judge's girl. All the best families, too. I just don't 
understand you!" 

"I just don't feel comfortable. I don't like sleep)- 
ing on the floor, and they talk all night. I don't par- 
ticularly like any of them, anyway. And you won't let 
Annie Wimple come spend the night with me." 

"But her people are sharecroppers!" 

Barbara sighed and pretended to busy herself 
with her lessons. Her mother would never understand. 
She had to sleep in a bed, an actual bed, with the sheet 
tucked tightly at the lower end. Otherwise there was 
no rest, no security for her in the dark hours of the 
night. Her mother, infuriated at the illogic of her ac- 
tions, would have forced her to change, but for the in- 
tervention of her father. 

"Everybody's got somethin' they're set on or 
afraid of," he had said. "This seems like a pretty small 
thing. Nothing unreasonable to take care of. You just 
let her tuck in her sheet like she wants to." 

And that had been that. 

70 Twilight Zone 

"Jim, I ... I have to tell you something. You'll 
think I'm silly. Mama always did. But before we marry 
I have to let you know, because it means a lot to me." 

He looked down at her, his blue eyes quizzical. 
"You sleep with a teddy bear!" he teased. "No? Then 
you have a very large dog that's used to sharing your 

"Silly!" She stood on tiptoe and kissed his chin. 
"No. It's such a little thing. I have to have the top 
sheet tucked in tightly on my side of the bed. I have 
always had a terror ..." she looked about to make 
certain that her mother was still in the kitchen ". . . of 
having my foot hang over the edge of the bed. Now I 
know! I know! It's childish. It's Freudian something-or- 
other. But I cannot go to sleep without that sheet 
tucked in good and tight." 

He smiled. "I think we can manage that ... at 
least for now. Eventually I think I'll be able to talk you 
into realizing what causes that^ p larticular need. Then 
you won't need it anymore." 

ou're right. I see it. It makes so much sense. 
Insecurity can do odd things to us, can't it? 
And to think I've spent all these years tuck- 
ing in that sheet to keep my foot on the bed! It seems 
so silly now." 

She sat on the bed and swung her feet onto the 
mattress. "It really is too hot for pulling up the top 
sheet, too. I know you've suffered from the heat, even 
with the fan going. You're a nice, patient person, love." 

He took his place beside her, stretching himself on 
the cool linen. "I've got a bright wife." He chuckled. 
"I have had many a patient who couldn't see cause and 

effect nearly as soon (jr as clearly as you have done, as her hand gripped his pajamas at the shoulder. 

Now you're free of that little worry. I suppose I see "It got me!" she screamed, and the cloth in her 

myself, actually, as some sort of Great Emancipator, hand tore as she was dragged away from him, toward 
freeing everyone I can from their niggling little slaveries the edge of the bed. 

to fears and phobias." Jim grabbed her hands. "I've got you. It's just a 

The lamp snapped off. The sound of crickets nightmare!" But his words caught in his throat as he 
from their large lawn filled the night, and Barbara saw her pulled away from him, and he was forced for- 
thought sleepily how good it was to have married for ward in order to hold on. 

love and to have found money, too. She dozed, her She went over the edge. He heard no thump, 

foot edging near the side of the mattress. and her hands grew cold in his. "Barbara!" He hurled 

It slipped over. himself toward her side of the bed and looked over the 

A long, thin hand, greyer than the moonlit mattress. She was disappearing into a kind of hole that 
room, snaked up from beneath the bed. The foot moved swirled at the edges. His hands, as if paralyzed, loosed 
a bit, and the ankle drooped over the bed edge. The their grip, and she was sucked away. The hole pulled 
hand darted upward and fastened its cold grip about inward after her, and he found himself staring at the 
Barbara's leg. pattern of the carpet. 

She shrieked, struggling upward and clawing at He huddled on the bed, shaking. The top sheet, 

Jim for stability. folded neatly at the foot of the bed, gleamed accusingly 

"What? What's'a matter?" he mumbled groggily at him in the light of the waning moon, fg 

- Twilight Zone 71 

Illustration by Frances Jetter 

A Fragment of Fact by Chris Massie is reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 

R E Q U I R E 'D RE A D I N G 

A Fragment of Fact 

by Chris Massie 





my progression on foot. On either side of me stretched 
miles of dangerous bdgland and, though closed in by 
the mist, I was fully aware of the treacherous, naked 
countryside through which I was passing. 

Now I was on foot traveling slowly; the sticky, 
warm mist seemed to impede my path by definite resis- 
tance. I was tired, thirsty, sleepy, and uncertain of my 
whereabouts. It was a source of considerable irritation 
to me that I was almost in touch with the most popu- 
lous city in the world where every comfort might be 
obtained at any hour, and yet, for the predicament I 
was in, I might have been lost in the Sahara. 

I plodded on, feeling very stupid, regretting the 
foolhardy presumption which had turned night into 
day, and overtaxed my endurance:. I reflected irritably 
on the folly of taking bypaths in a fantastically situated 
country like England. For the first time I deplored my 
solitude. I had made similar tours with one or more 
companions, but had found that, however amiable 
company might be, two ideas were not better than one 
on the road. Arguing at crossroads had a mean and 
spoiling effect on a cycling holiday. But the situation 
was getting on my nerves. I am one of those peculiar 
people who are not comfortable in wide, flat, open 
spaces; and though at this hour I could not see the 
dreary prospect, being closed in by the mist, I could 
feel it in every nerve of my body. 

"I don't suppose there's a fiouse round here for 
miles," I was thinking, when to my great relief I could 
see through the mist a bright patch to the right of the 
road which indicated, high up, the window of a lighted 

I pushed on anxiously in that direction, and was 
soon aware that the light came from a house standing 
some distance back off the bypath which was ap- 
proached by a wooden gate which I opened and 
against which I rested my bicycle. 

S tarting from my home in Whitby, with the 
fanatical enthusiasm mf youth I had traced out 
a cycling itinerary which would keep me in 
touch with the sea round the walls of England until I 
reached Blackpool, and from there I proposed to cut 
through the hills back home to Yorkshire. 

Embarking on this ambitious program, I found 
myself one evening, between the hours of ten and 
eleven, cycling through the flat country of the sea 
reaches at the mouth of the Thames. While it was yet 
light, I had had fully communicated to me the melan- 
choly desolation of that bog-held situation, heightened 
by the weird cries of some marsh bird I did not 

The day had become sticky with heat: a sullen, 
breathless atmosphere which made cycling a conscious 
effort. Sweat oozed from my hair down my forehead, 
and past my ears, to trickle down the open neck of my 
cricket shirt. The journey was uncomfortable and unin- 
teresting and, having taken a long bypath route, there 
was nothing much on the way to engage my attention. 

When night fell, I had hoped for cooler condi- 
tions, being so near the sea and the river; but as is not 
unusual following such days, the night air became 
closer and more menacing. The air was so dense it 
seemed I was cutting through a solid surface; and in- 
deed the conditions were something like this, for a low, 
clinging mist had come up from the marshland, and I 
could not see more than a few yards away by the light 
of my lamp. 

I might have made the journey without consid- 
erable discomfort had I not become intolerably thirsty; 
but it was too late for an inn to be open, had I en- 
countered one, which did not seem likely on this inhos- 
pitable bypath. 

Growing weary of pedaling and feeling the need 
of sleep as well as drink, I got off my bike and made 

72 Twilight Zone 



Twilight Zone 73 

Illustration by Jose Reyes 

A Fragment of Fact 

was hedged on either side by some 

tall evergreens. It was perhaps fifty 

yards to the main door, and such is ^ 

the peculiarity of the abominable 

torture set up by thirst, that now I 

was within sight of quenching it, 

my sufferings from that cause were 

inconceivably intensified. What if I should fail to get a 

drink after all? On that short journey I dwelt on pints, 

quarts, gallons of ice-cold water from a deep well, and 

in imagination I was quaffing greedily. 

As I drew near, I saw the head and shoulders of 
a man, enormously magnified, pass across the window 
blind. The shadow had a downward projection, as if 
he had made a sudden sweeping movement to the 
floor. I rang a queer, old-fashioned bell which had to 
be pulled out and let go. A swift peal clattered through 
the house, which subsided with the lessening vibration 
to one or two isolated sounds before it ceased. 

I stood there, self-conscious, foolish; remember- 
ing having made a similar request for water when a 
child, and how graciously I* had been received by a 
good woman, and accommodated with two juicy ap- 
ples to follow my refreshing swill. But I was a young 
man now and the hour was late. 

There was no stir in response to my ringing. Im- 
patient and desperate with my need, I rang again, and 
listened once more for those last, halting reverbera- 
tions. This time I had succeeded. A foot was on the 
stair. A moment later the door opened, and a voice 
out of the darkness, for there was no light in the hall, 
asked, "What do you want?" 

"I have been held up in the mist," I replied. "I am 
very thirsty and would be glad of a drink of water." 

The man stood for a moment as if in deep 
thought. It was then I noticed his enormous propor- 
tions, not only in height, but girth and shoulder span. 
He was well over six feet tall even in the attitude in 
which he stood, with head bowed and shoulders 
humped. His long arms hung in a dragging, helpless 
fashion at his sides, like an ape's. 

"Come in," he said. "Come into the light." 

I followed him, and he touched a door and said, 
"Go and wait for me in there. I will be back again 
soon with what you want." 

The room I walked into was only feebly lit, giv- 
ing a twilight effect. It was a large room, but very 
barely furnished. Though it was obviously a dining or 
sitting room, a deal table took the center of the room, 
and there were three Windsor chairs in various posi- 
tions. There were no pictures, and nothing of comfort 
and pleasure in the apartment. I thought by this 
evidence that the house was unoccupied and that the 
man I had seen was the caretaker. 

He returned in a few moments holding a heavy 
bowl in both hands, and as I was still standing in the 
middle of the room, he brought it straight forward and 

74 Twilight Zone 

H placed it in my hands, so that now 
I was holding it in precisely the 
manner he had done a moment be- 
fore. It seemed enormous for a 

which oppressed me. I looked down 
into the water, and saw round the 
edges of the bottom a dark stain 
that might have been a sediment of mud. 

At that moment I looked up at him in vexation, 
and in the dim light I saw his face. The huge size of 
the man suggested the lineaments of a gorilla, and I ex- 
pected to be revolted by his appearance; but he was 
not like that at all. He wore a beard which to the 
worst of faces adds a venerable sort of dignity. His 
brows were heavy and overhanging, so that his eyes 
were invisible in these cavernous projections. His nose 
was long, with a melancholy downward depression, 
and his mouth hidden beneath a drooping moustache. 

"This must have been a mistake," I said, in- 
dicating the water. 

At once he reached out with his immense hands 
and took the bowl away from me. Without a word of 
explanation he left the room, and I could hear him 
descending stairs. 

I was alarmed, and inclined to make my escape 
from the house in his absence, for I had noticed, as the 
bowl swung round in his hands, the word DOG on its 
glazed earthenware surface. 

In the state of thirst which tortured me, I was 
appalled that this unmannered giant should be so lack- 
ing in all human consideration as to offer me a dog's 
trough from which to drink. And not a clean one. But 
he had returned before I could come to a decision, and 
this time he was bearing a jug and a half-pint tumbler. 

He set them on the table in front of me, and in- 
vited me to sit down. When 1 had done so, he sat 
down oposite me on the other side of the table. He 
looked across at me in the dim ligftt and made this ex- 
traordinary statement: "Between your first ringing at 
the bell and your second my wife died. I was attending 
to her upstairs. That will explain my delay in coming 
down to you." The words were uttered simply, as a matter 
of course, in a deep but gentle Voice with unexpected 
culture in its phrasing. 

For a moment I had nothing to reply. Between 
the first ringing and the second I fiad been thinking of 
that good woman who, when I was a child, had supple- 
mented a cooling drink with two juicy apples; and pre- 
cisely at that moment a woman had died. This, for some 
unknown reason, seemed to invest the information with 
a special horror. I felt myself a most insolent intruder. 

"I humbly beg your pardon," I said, getting up. 
"That is most terrible news. I ought not to have 
blundered into the house in this fashion. I will be going 
now, and thank you for your hospitality." 

He stood up when 1 did, and with a quick move- 
ment preceded me to the door, lifting his hand in a man- 

ner which suggested I should be 
seated again. 

"Don't go," he said. "I am 
glad of your company. There is no 
one else in the house. And I'm not 
used to this kind of thing. Perhaps 
it is a trifle unusual in a man of my 
age, but this is the first time I have 
seen death happen to ... to a human being. ... It so 
happens that her dog died only this morning." 

"And your wife has died almost immediately 
after the dog?" I asked for no particular reason. 

"Yes," he replied. "My wife was very fond of it; 
indeed, she idolized it." 

"Was your wife's death sudden? I mean, were 
you expecting it?" I asked. 

"Yes, I was expecting it. Both my wife and the 
dog were very ill." He hesitated a moment, then con- 
tinued, "When I say I expected it, I was not expecting 
it at that moment although she was so ill. I had been 
intent on her condition, trying to make her position in 
bed more comfortable, when I heard your first ring. 
My mind wandered at the psychological moment. It's 
often so. At the psychological moment we are not 
there; our minds are floating about in time. That is 
life's illusion; so much of it is lost in ranging back over 
the past or trying to explore the future. Then we look 
at death, and it is all over." 

His remarks were too metaphysical and self- 
conscious for me to answer. I merely nodded and sat 
down again. It was ridiculous to stand in the middle of 
the room and listen to such conversation. He also 
returned to his chair. 

"Between your first ring and your second, she 
died,"' he went on. "I had been nursing both of them. I 
mean I was attending the sick dog up to the moment 
when it died." 

"What sort of dog was it?" I asked. 

"A sheepdog," he replied. "One of those grey- 
black, shaggy fellows with the peculiar white-ringed 
eyes that seem blind, but are far from being so." 

"Oh yes," I replied casually, but I was suddenly 
oppressed by a breathtaking sensation of unreality. 

He sat before me in idle helplessness, observing 
me occasionally, and then turning a glance towards the 

"When the dog died, it was impossible to de- 
ceive her about it," he went on. "At all times of the 
day she asked where it was, and implored me to bring 
it to her. It's lying there now, at the foot of the bed." 

"Do you mean that your wife is dead, and lying 
at her feet is a dead dog?" I asked. He had just said 
that, but the picture it brought to my mind was hor- 
rifying in the extreme. 

"She made me place it there," he said. "Her wish 
was that they should be placed in the same coffin." 

"But no undertaker on earth — " 1 began. 

"I know," he replied. "I know. But it was her 

last wish, and 1 cannot bring myself 
to bury the dog. 1 cannot sum up 
sufficient courage to take it away 
from her feet." 

"Don't you think," I asked, 
for the situation was worrying me, 
"don't you think you ought to be 
upstairs with her instead of here, if 
only to make sure she's dead? . . . And really I must 
go; I have an appointment." 

Another thing had occurred to me. 

"You ought to go for a doctor," I told him. 
"Shall I call on the first doctor I come across on my 
way? What's the name of this house?". 

He made no reply at once, then he said, "I must 
think the matter over carefully. You have no idea what 
it is like to live in this lonely situation. It was no more 
than a bond to keep them together until they died. 
Why should I go upstairs again? I have done my part. 
I shall be going to the village tomorrow as I have 
always gone, to get the meat and vegetables, and I 
may call on a doctor then." 

"May!" I almost screamed. "You simply must!" 

"Must, then," he concurred. 

"I'm sorry," I said. The words seemed particu- 
larly futile, utterly absurd. 

He did not reply. He was resting his head on his 
hands, with his elbows on the table. 

"I must be going now," I said. "Thank you for 
the drink." ^ 

Again he did not reply or even look up. I passed 
out of the room into the dark passage, and very quietly 
opened the front door and closed it after me. I dashed 
down through the dark evergreens, and jumped on my 
bicycle. As I was getting up speed, I heard the pad of 
feet and a snarling behind me. The next moment the 
heavy bulk of a big animal caught me broadside on 
and nearly unseated me. As the handles swung, my 
lamp was brought round to the creature's face, and I 
saw a pair of savage eyes. It was a sheepdog. 

He came at me again, and lifting my foot from 
the pedal, I jabbed at his nose with my heel; but it was 
a push rather than a kick, and he was not hurt. He 
bared his teeth and leapt at my handlebars, and the 
lamp, coming off its fittings, dropped in the road and 
went out; but he had fallen without getting a grip of 
me. Before he had completely recovered, I rode on, 
and for a mile I heard him pattering behind. 

"That must have been another sheepdog," I 
reflected. An involuntary shudder shook me so that I 
swerved on my bicycle; but this was not on account of 
my affray with the dog, but because that strange man 
with unkempt hair ^nd beard looked so much like a 
sheepdog himself. 

I did not tell my story to anyone until I reached 
home. It has remained with me ever since, and from 
time to time I turn it over in my mind in an effort to 
clarify and rationalize it; but it remains insoluble.® 

, Twilight Zone 75 

'‘Do you mean that 
your wife 
is dead, 

lying at her feet 
is a dead dog?" 

Relive the past! 

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76 Twilight Zone 


Starter home. Cute 2 bedroom cottage 
on well-treed street. Close to stores, 
transit. Good financing. Vendor has 
bought. $149,000. 

B aker snorted in disgust and threw the real 
estate section across the length of the living 
room. It was no great distance. 

Starter home, $149,000! The world was going 


Baker and his wife had a combined income of 
over $45,000 per year. They had over $10,000 in 
savings, and the way things were going, they were 
never, ever going to own a home. 

When Baker had married Janice, six months 
before, she had moved into his cramped one-bedroom 
apartment from her own studio apartment as a 
temporary measure. A temporary measure that was 
beginning to look depressingly permanent. There was 
simply no way they could swing buying a house, not 

at those prices and at those mortgage rates. 

Thirty years old, Baker brooded obsessively. 
And I'm never going to own a home. 

His reverie was interrupted by the telephone. 

“Dickie my boy," said the voice at the other 
end of the wire. "How are you doing?" 

Baker was in no real mood to talk to his old 
friend and former squash partner. Bob Lomax. The 
man was so depressingly, so relentlessly cheerful. As 
indeed he had every right to be. Lomax, unlike Baker, 
had bought a house years ago, before the market 
started to go bananas, then traded up and up, ever 
upwards, doubling and trebling his initial stake. 

Moreover, as a stockbroker for McGraw- 
Peterson, one of tlfe largest firms in the city, Lomax 
had parlayed a series of stock tips into an ever 
burgeoning portfolio. 

Money played favorites. That was what Baker 
had long ago concluded. Some people, like Lomax, 

Twilight Zone 77 


seemed to have a magnetic attraction for the stuff. 
Others, like himself, never came within miles of 
serious money. 

Oh, Lomax had passed on plenty of tips to him 
in the past. But he had been too timid, not to say 
underfinanced, to take advantage of them. You 
needed money, that was the problem. And whatever 
money Baker managed to hold onto was earmarked 
for the deposit on that ever receding house. 

"Awful," he told Lomax, "since you ask." 

"Well, brighten up, Dickie. I bear glad tidings. 
I'm going to let you in on one of the sweetest deals 
I've seen in years. A word to the wise, Dickie boy. 
Advanced Hurgorvia." 

"Advanced Hurgorvia?" Baker echoed. "What's 


"It's where the smart money is going, my boy." 

"It's a company? I never even heard of it." 

"Naturally not. That's the whole point. It's a 
brand-new junior. Just incorporated. In fact, it's still 
trading over the counter. Unlisted. A chance to get in 
ahead of the crowds." 

"Unlisted?" , 

"Not for long, though. They're negotiating in 
New York and Chicago right now. But that's what 
makes it an absolute steal. Ninety cents bid, a dollar 
asked right now. Started in at fifty cents yesterday 
morning. We can see it at nine, ten bucks by the fall." 

It was now mid-July. Baker felt a mixture of 
hope and greed begin to stir in his stomach. 

"Ten bucks," he echoed. "What kind of 
company is it?" 

"Oh, natural resources. Mining, like that. Zinc, 

I think. Or was it potassium? I've got the handout 
here somewhere." Sound of shuffling papers. "Or was 
it oil services? Anyway, can't seem to lay my hand on 
it right now. Anyway, who cares? The point is, it's 
going up. Up, up, up." 

"Advanced Hurgorvia?" mused Baker. "What 
kind of a name is that?" 

"Who knows?" Lomax said, with a tinge of 
irritation. "Who cares? Let's not get ourselves bogged 
down in irrelevant details. The point is, this one was 
made for you. This is your chance to get in on the 
ground floor. You were telling me the other day that 
you wanted to buy a house. Good old Hurgorvia is 
going to buy it for you. Can I put you down for, say, 
ten thousand? I'm in for twenty-five thousand 

"Ten thousand? I don't have that kind of money." 

"And there's no seller's commission on unlisted 
stocks," Lomax continued relentlessly. "Of course, it'll 
be listed by the time you sell, which is where I'll get 
my cut. But basically I'm just trying to help you out." 

"Bob, I can't do it. All I have is ten thousand 
dollars, and that's for the house. Janice would kill me 
if I used it for something like this." 

"Ah, how is the little woman?" Lomax asked. 

78 Twilight Zone 

"Well, I can see the problem. But I certainly wouldn't 
let Marsha influence my investment decisions. The 
fact is that women, bless their hearts, simply don't 
understand this investment stuff as well as you or 1. If 
you want to get ahead in this world you've got to be 
prepared to take a few risks. Not that there's any real 
risk here. It's a sure thing. Of course, officially I can't 
promise you that it's going to go up. But unofficially I 
can tell you that you'd be crazy to pass this up." 

The hell with it. Baker thought suddenly. What 
good is $10,000 anyway? Time to do what the smart 
boys do. 

He should, of course, have waited to consult 
Janice. But Janice was at the dentist, and in any case 
he knew very well what she would say. 

"All right," he said. "Let's do it. Put me down 
for ten thousand." 

The argument was, as he had expected, fero- 
cious. It lasted on and off for several days. But then, 
as the shares began to move up, Janice was forced to 
hold her peace. 

He scrutinized the business pages of the 
morning paper. 

"It's up again," he told her. "Closed at one 
point forty to one point fifty." 

"Sell it," Janice said. ""Take the money and run." 

"Are you kidding? After it went up fifty cents 
in a week? This is going to make us rich. Or at least, 
less poor. This is our house we're talking about." 

It was time to get to work. He got up from the 
breakfast table and kissed Janice goodbye. 

She grimaced and rubbed her cheek. "Are you 
going to work without shaving?" 

"I did shave," he said, surprised. "I'm sure I did." 

He stroked his cheek. 

"A bit of a stubble," he admitted. "Must have 
been a blunt blade. I'll do it again." 

T he following week Baker received a letter 
from the corporate offices of Advanced 
Hurgorvia. The address was a post office 
box in Seattle, Washington. 

Dear New Shareholder (it read). 

We are delighted to welcome you to the 
Hurgorvian Family. We treasure all of our 
cousins, no matter how large or small their 
investment with us. We are thrilled that you 
have demonstrated such confidence in us at such 
an early stage in our development plans. Rest 
assured that your confidence will be amply 

We have big and exciting plans for the year 
ahead, and you will be learning of these plans 
at the appropriate time. Once again, your 
participation is greatly appreciated. 

Yours sincerely, 

Kori Yakovaria 
Chairmarl of the Board 

"We treasure all of our cousins,'" Janice 
repeated, "It's a little flak}/, isn't it?" 

"I don't think so," Baker said. "I think it's nice. 
Makes you feel welcome. I mean, it's the personal 
touch. You wouldn't get a letter like that from 

"AT&T pays a regular dividend," Janice said 
pointedly. They don't need the personal touch. And 
what sort of name is Kori Yakovaria?" 

"Well, you know what they say about immi- 
grants," Baker said. "All that entrepreneurial drive. 
Won't stop until they conquer all before them. He 
sounds like a take-charge sort of guy to me." 

"Flaky," Janice said again. 

id I tell you or did I tell you?" asked Lomax 
from the other end of the telephone. 

Baker put down the report he had been 
working on. 

"It hit three dollars?" 


"Three fifty?" 

"Three sixty. We listed it this morning in New 
York. Took off like a rocket." 

"Did they strike zinc, or something?" 

"Silver, isn't it? Whatever. There's certainly 
been some promising discovery. The point is, we're 

Baker stroked his cheek absently. Time to 
shave again. That would be the third time today. For 
the past week he had been bringing his razor with him 
to work. His doctor was just as baffled about it as he 
was, but said it was nothing to worry about. Just 
some sort of freak thing. Either it would stop, or he 
would have to get used to it. 

He was seriously thinking about growing a 


"I don't know. Bob," he said. "I was thinking 
of getting out while I'm ahead. Janice — " 

"Ridiculous," Lomax said. "I see no ceiling on 
this one. Why, we could top twenty dollars." 

"Twenty dollars?" 

For that kind of money he could buy a house 
outright, and still have some spare change. 

"Well, maybe I'll hang in there for a while," he 
said. "Just for a few more weeks." 

" Sell it," Janice told him. "Don't get greedy. Sell it." 

"It hit four sixty today," he told her, "then 
slipped back to four ten. But it was four thirty at the 
close. The trend is still up." 

"Sell it," she said. "We already have enough 
for a deposit." 

"You're thinking too small," he told her. "You 
just don't understand these things the way I do. I've 
been right so far, haven't 1?" 

She had to admit that he was right. 

"Let's go to bed," he said. 

"Ouch," she said a few minutes later. 

Time to shave again. 

That would be the third 
time today. His doctor 
was just as baffled about it 
as he was, but said it was 
nothing to worry about. 

"I just shaved," he said. 

"It's your knee." she said. "It's all rough and 


He felt his knee. Then he turned the light on 
again to examine it. 

"You're right," he said. "They both are. In fact 
my legs are, too." 

From ankle to crotch his legs were rough and 
dried up and scaly. 

"Must be some sort of rash," he said. "I didn't 
notice anything this morning. Maybe it was 
something I ate." 

There was a further communication from 
Advanced Hurgorvia in his morning mail. 

Dear Shareholder, 

Great things are happening, as you are no 
doubt aware. All of us in Hurgorvia are 
absolutely thrilled and peraverated at the speed 
at which the business community has taken us 
to heart. And our advance has only just begun! 

Watch for exciting fiew developments. 

Hurgorvia Forever! 

Your brother, 

Koria Yakovaria 

"Now that is flaky," Janice said. 

"I don't know," Baker said. "It sort of makes 
you feel good, to be part of something growing. Can't 
you just feel that entrepreneurial spirit? It's like 
George Gilder says . . ." 

"And what on earth," Janice asked, "does he 
mean when he says that he's 'thrilled and 

"I don't know," Baker said. "I expect that it's 
just a misprint. Maybe he means pleased." 

"That's a funny sort of misprint," Janice said. 

J^W%ell me," said the skin specialist, "how long 
■ have you had these marks on your back?" 
A "My back?" he echoed. "I'm here about 
the rash on my legs." 

"Your back is covered with large purplish 
marks. Does this hurt?" 

He pressed -down, at first lightly, then 
increased the pressure. 

"No," Baker said. "What is it, doctor?" 

"Beats the hell out of me," the skin specialist 
said cheerfully. "Never saw anything like it." 

"Is it cancer?" 



Twilight Zone 79 

: 1 ' 


"If it is, they'll have to name it after me. Or 
you, of course. Because I never saw anything like it. 
But I really don't think you have to worry on that 
score. We better run some tests to see what it is." 
"And what about my legs?" 

Baker's legs looked awful. The top skin had 
now flaked away, leaving a surface of hard, greenish 

"That's another new one on me. I'm afraid. But 
it's got to be some sort of allergic reaction. I'd like 
Feldman, down at the General, to take a look at this. 
He's the best allergist in town. Could be a paper in 
this for both of us. Of course, it might just be nerves. 
The mind can play funny tricks on the body, you 
know. Are you under a lot of stress at work?" 

"Not really." 

"Having financial problems?" 

"Not in the least," he said. "No problems on 
that score." 

B aker glimmed. He glimmed rekfully at first, 
but then with increasing conviction. He 
glimmed toward hi» vevorukk, across the 
dry and- rocky plain, under the purplish sun . . . 

How rruminid it was to glim! 

The phone rang, interrupting this idyll. 
"Kerveryan," he said in irritation, reaching an 
arm out of bed toward the phone. His arm, like his 
chest and back, was now covered with the purplish 
marks. Lately he had taken to wearing pyjamas to 
bed to spare Janice, and himself, the sight of him. But 
the marks also covered the back of his hand. 

"What did you say?" Janice asked, stirring 
beside him in the bed. 

"I don't know," he said. "I don't know what I 


"You said something like 'kerveryan,'" she 


He shook .Iris' head in bafflement. 

"Hello," he said into the phone. 

"Dickie, it's Bob. And we're listed in London 
and Tokyo. Just came over the wire. Big international 
push. People can't get enough of the stuff. All high 
tech stocks are pretty hot, but good old Advanced 
Hurgorvia is the hottest. Broke six bucks in New 

"High tech? I thought they were into 

"Oh, diversification, I suppose. Anyway, the 
point is I think you owe me lunch. At the best 
restaurant in town." 

Baker realized guiltily that he had not seen 
Lomax in months. Since he had given up squash, their 
only contact had been over the phone. 

"You're right," he said. "How about Tuesday?" 
"Ah, that's not good for me. Doctor's 
appointment. How's Wednesday?" 

"Sorry," Baker said, "I've got a doctor's 

appointment, too." 

"Well, just as long as you're healthy. How 
about Friday?" 

"Friday is fine." 

I t was a two-mile walk from his office to the res- 
taurant Lomax had selected, but Baker covered 
the distance in an effortless fifteen-minute 
jog without even raising a sweat. 

Lately he had felt an almost boundless energy. 
His legs felt as strong as iron. His lungs seemed to 
have limitless capacity. His heart was steady as a 
rock. But for his various skin ailments, he was in 
better health than he had ever been before. 

It was just one more detail to puzzle the 
doctors. So far all the allergy tests had proved 
negative. The purplish marks on his torso and armed 
had begun to turn mauve. 

He saw Bob Lomax heading toward the 
restaurant from the opposite direction from a distance 
of twelve blocks. Lately, again, his eyesight had 
become astonishingly good, and he had abandoned 
the glasses he wore for driving. His optician had 
explained that sometimes this happened as you got 

He noted that Lomax, like himself, was 
wearing a beard these days. He was also, on a warm 
August day, wearing leather gloves. 

"Why the gloves?" Baker asked as they waited 
to be shown to their table. 

"It's a bit embarrassing, actually," Lomax said. 

He pulled off the gloves. Large mauve marks 
covered the backs of his hands. 

"Do you have those all over your body?" 

"As a matter of fact, yes. Except for my 
legs ..." 

The waitress came to show them to their table. 
Lomax had indeed picked one of the best 
restaurants in town. It was packed with movers and 
shakers from the city's financial district. 

"Hey," Baker said, "isn't that Michael Dawson? 
Except I didn't know he had a beard." 

Dawson, chief executive of one of the city's 
biggest banks, was sitting at a window table. His 
luncheon companion was also heavily bearded. 

"We're trend-setters, Dickie boy. Although to 
tell you the truth, I only grew it because — " 

"Because you had to shave six times a day," 
Baker completed. 

"How did you know that? " 

Baker held out his hands, palms downwards, in 

"Strange," Lomax said. "And something 
stranger. Did you notice that Karns is wearing 

"Must be something going around," Baker said. 
He picked up the menu. 

80 Twilight Zone 

In the mail the next day, Baker received his final 
written communication from Advanced Hurgorvia. 

Dear Brother in Hurgorvia, 

As you look at the world through new eyes, 
you see it alive with promise, bursting with 
things yet to become. Ah, the dawning 'of the 
age of Hurgorvia! Ah, the reglipping of our 
heritage! As you have joined us, so we will join 
you, to build a newer and greater Hurgorvia. 

With appreciation for your magnificent sup- 
port. Looking forward to glimming with you, 
Hurgorvia Supreme! 

Kori Yakovaria 

"Very flaky," Janice said. "In fact, complete 
gobbledegook. In fact, I would say that these people 
are out to lunch. You had better sell those shares right 
now before it's too late. If it isn't too late already." 
Baker did not respond. 

‘“The reglipping of our heritage,'" she 
repeated. '“Looking forward to glimming with you.' 
What does it mean?" 

"I don't know," Baker said, scratching absently 
at his beard. "And yet in some way I can't really 
explain, it seems to make a kind of sense." 

T he report was not going well. Baker was 
bored with the whole exercise. He longed to 
be outside in the open air. In fact he longed 
to be out of the city, to enjoy the still lush country- 
side of this lush little planet, to reglip and to corrorate 
and of course to glim . . . 

He shook his head as if to clear it. Lately he 
had been having such strange thoughts, such strange 
dreams. He had been thinking of seeing a psychiatrist, 
about it. And yet another part of his mind told him 
that he had nothing to worry about. 

The phone rang. 

"Two-for-one stock split," Lomax said without 
preamble. "You now own twenty-thousand shares. 
Last trade at four ten. Hurgorvia forever! Isn't that 
just heristific?" 

"What did you say?" 

"I said, 'Isn't that just . . . heristitic.'" There 
was a pause. "You'll have to excuse me. Can't think 
what I meant. Anyway, there's something else. A hot 
and heavy rumor that Advanced Hurgorvia are 
preparing — " 

"Let me guess," Baker said. "A takeover bid, 


"Right," Lomax said. "How did you know?" 
"Who for?" Baker asked. "AT&T? IBM?" 

"Not quite," Lomax said. "But give them time. 
This is a medium-size ^mining group. How did you 

■ "How do I know about heristitic? Or 
vevorukks? Or glimming?" 

"Glimming," Lomax repeated. "Wasn't there 

something in that rather strange letter ..." 

“Looking forward to glimming with you," 
Baker said. "And we will be. Pretty soon now. It all 
fits together now." 

"I don't understand." 

"But I do," Baker said. "I understand very 
well. In fact, I think I've understood it for a long time 
without wanting to admit it. We've been had. Bob. 
We've been invaded. Through the backdoor. Invaded 
by Hurgorvia, whatever that is. Some kind of dried- 
up, rocky, dusty faraway planet." 

"Invaded? What do you mean, invaded?" 

"Oh," Baker said, "not like in the movies. No 
space ships. No bombs. No threats. But invaded all 
the same. There are better ways to invade a country. 
Or a world. Economic control, that's how you do it. 
Nice and clean. You can even use other people's 
money to do it. The Hurgorvians are going to buy us 
up. Bob. Lock, stock, and barrel. And then they're 
going to move in. In fact, they're already here. We're 
here. Bob. We're Hurgorvians now. We're the 
advance guard." 

"Wait a minute," Lomax said. "I didn't sign up 
to become a Hurgorvian. All I did was buy a few 
shares. They have no riglit to do this to 'us. It's 
monstrous. It's outrageous. It's . . . illegal." 

By whose laws. Bob? Maybe in Hurgorvia 
you become what you own. Who knows? In fact, isn't 
there something in the Book of Yoruka — " 

"The what?" 

"The Book of Yoruka," Baker repeated. "I 
wonder what the hell that is? Well, we'll know soon 
enough. Anyway, sue them if you like. See where it 
gets you. The point is, they did it. And we bought it. 
We signed up. We're brothers in Hurgorvia now. Or 
we soon will be." 

"I'm going to complain to the Securities 
Commission," Lomax said. 

"I don't think you will," Baker said. "After all, 
we've been deliberately ignoring the obvious for 
weeks. Obviously they didn't want us to know until 
now. And if they're letting us know now, then it's 
probably too late to do anything about it." 

"I'm going to put in a sell order." 

"Too late, I think," Baker said. "Much too late. 
You might as well just enjoy your dividends. Because 
we're too far gone^ In fact, I think I have an 
irresistible urge to glim right now. Right here and 
now in my office. It's all I can do to fight it down." 

"But what is glimming?" 

"I don't know," Baker said. "But I think I'm 
about to find out." 10 


- % 

Twilight Zone 81 


6y Joe /^. len£c/e/e 


he psychiatrist wore blue, the color of Merguson's 

"Mr. . . . uh?" the psychiatrist asked. 
"Merguson. Floyd Merguson." 

"Sure, Mr. ..." 


"Right. Come into the office." 

It was a sleek office full of sleek black chairs the 
texture of a lizard's underbelly. The walls were 
decorated with paintings of explosive color; a metal- 
drip sculpture resided on the large walnut desk. And 
there was the couch, of cour^, just like in the movies. 
It was a chocolate-brown with throw-pillows at each 
end. It looked as if you could drift down into it and 
disappear in its softness. 

They sat in chairs, however. The psychiatrist on 
his side of the desk, Merguson on the client's side. 

The psychiatrist was a youngish man with a fine 
touch of premature white at the temples. He looked 
every inch the intelligent professional. 

"Now," the psychiatrist said, "what exactly is 
your problem?" 

Merguson fiddled his fingers, licked his lips, and 
looked away. 

"Come on, now. You came here for help, so 
let's get started." 

"Well," Merguson said cautiously. "No one 
takes me seriously." 

"Tell me about it." 

"No one listens ta me. I can't take it anymore. 
Not another moment. I feel like I'm going to explode if 
I don't get help. Sometimes I just want to yell out. 
Listen to me!" 

Merguson leaned forward and said confiden- 
tially, "Actually, I think it's a disease. Yeah, I know 
how that sounds, but I believe it is, and I believe 
I'm approaching the terminal stage of the illness. 

"I got this theory that there are people others 
don't notice, that they're almost invisible. There's just 
something genetically wrong with them that causes 
them to go unnoticed. Like a little clock that ticks in- 
side them, and the closer it gets to the hour hand the 
more unnoticed these people become. 

"I've always had the problem of being shy and in- 
troverted — and that's the first sign of the disease. You 
either shake it early or you don't. If you don't, it just 
grows like cancer and consumes you. With me the prob- 
lem gets worse every year, and lately by the moment. 

82 Twilight Zone 

"My wife, she used to tell me it's all in my 
head, but lately she doesn't bother. But let me start at 
the first, when I finally decided I was ill, that the ill- 
ness was getting worse and that it wasn't just in my 
head, not some sort of complex. 

"Just last week I went to the butcher, the butcher 
I been going to for ten years. We were never chummy, 
no one has ever been chummy to me but my wife, and 
she married me for my money. 1 was at least visible 
then; I mean you had to go to at least some effort to 
ignore me, but God, it's gotten worse . . . 

"I'm off the track. I went to the butcher, asked 
him for some choice cuts of meat. Another man comes 
in while I'm talking to him and asks for a pound of 
hamburger. Talks right over me, mind you. What hap- 
pens? You guessed it. The butcher starts shooting the 
breeze with the guy, wraps up a pound of hamburger 
and hands it over to him! 

"I ask him about my order and he says. Oh, I 

Merguson lit a cigarette and held it between un- 
steady fingers after a long deep puff. "I tell you, he 
waited on three other people before he finally got to 
me, and then he got my order wrong, and I must have 
told him three times, at least. 

"It's more than I can stand. Doc. Day after day 
people not noticing me, and it's getting worse all the 
time. Yesterday I went to a movie and I asked for a 
ticket and it happened. I mean I went out completely, 
went transparent, invisible. I mean completely. This 
was the first time. The guy just sits there behind the 
glass, like he's looking right through me. I asked him 
for a ticket again. Nothing. 

"I was angry. I'll tell you. I just walked right on 
toward the door. Things had been getting me down 
bad enough without not being able to take off and go 
to a movie and relax. I thought I'd show him. Just 
walk right in. Then they'd sell me a ticket. 

"No one tried to stop me. No one seemed to 
know I was there. I didn't bother with the concession 
stand. No one would have waited on me anyway. 

"Well, that was the first time of the complete 
fadeouts. And I remember when I was leaving the 
movie, I got this funny idea. I went into the bathroom 
and looked in the mirror. I swear to you. Doc, on my 
mother's grave, there wasn't an image in the mirror. I 
gripped the sink to keep upright, and when I looked up 
again I was fading in, slowly. Well, I didn't stick 

around to see 
my face come into 
view. I left there and 
went straight home. 

"That afternoon was the corker. 

Twilight Zone 83 

My wife, Connie, I know she's 
been seeing another man. Why not? 

She can t see me. And when she can I don t have the 
presence of a one-watt bulb. I came home from the 
movie and she's all dressed up and talking on the 

"I say, 'Who you talking to?"' 

Merguson crushed his cigarette out in the ash- 
tray on the psychiatrist's desk. "Doesn't say doodly 
squat. Doc. Not a word. I'm mad as hell. I go upstairs 
and listen on the extension. It's a man, and they're 
planning a date. 

"I broke in over the line and started yelling at 
them. Guess what? The guy says, 'Do you hear a buzz- 
ing or something or other?' 'No,' she says. And they go 
right on with their plans. 

"I was in a honnicidal rage. I went downstairs 
and snatched the phone out of her hand and threw it 
across the room. I wn.'cked furniture and busted up 
some lamps and expensive pottery. Just made a general 
wreck out of the place. 

"She screamed then. Doc. I tell you she screamed 
good. But then she says the thing that makes me come 
here. 'Oh God,' she says. 'Ghost! Ghost in this house!' 

"That floored me, and I knew I was invisible 
again. I went upstairs and looked in the bathroom 

Later when the law came and found the psy- 
chiatrist strangled artd slumped across his desk, his 
secretary said "Funny, I don't remember anyone com- 
ing in or leaving. Couldn't have come in while I was 
here. He had an appointment with a Mr. . . . uh." She 
looked at the appointment book. "A Mr. Merguson. 
But he never showed." (S 

mirror. Sure enough. 
Nothing there. So I waited until I 
faded back and I called your secretary. It took me five 
tries before she finally wrote my name down, gave me 
an appointment. It was worse than when I tried to get 
the meat from the butcher. So I hurried right over. I 
had to get this out. I swear I'm not going crazy, it's a 
disease, and it's getting worse and worse and worse. 

"So what can I do. Doc? How can I handle this? 
I know it's not in my head, and I've got to have some 
advice. Please, Doc. Say something. Tell me what to 
do. I've never been this desperate in my entire life. I 
might fade out again and not come back." 

The psychiatrist took his hand from his chin 
where it had been resting. "Wha . . . ? Sorry. I must 
have dozed. What was it again, Mr. . . . uh?" 

Merguson dove across the desk, clawing for the 
psychiatrist's throat. 

Courtesy Green Tiger Ptess, La Jolla, California 

by Thomas M. Disch, 
Karl Edward Wagner, and R. S. Hadji 


Everybody loves a list, right? Wrong. The following people do not 
like lists; 1) Dalton Trumbo, 2) George Sand, 3) Adrian Messenger . . . 
and probably one or two more. Everyone else, though, loves a list, so 
with this fact in mind— and in honor of May 13, the only Friday the 13th 
in 1983— we asked our three best-read friends to put together 13-item 
reading lists for us. After combing their libraries and searching their 
memories, they came up with these wonderfully idiosyncratic 
recommendations, which should send the more ambitious among you 
' — c-;:- to your local libraries and second-hand bookshops. 

transmuting the dross of the 
Gothic and Schaur romantik into 
brilliant fables, moving a 
memorable gallery of grotesques 
briskly through increasingly 
fantastic situations. His tales 
possess subtlety, wit, 
psychological insight and 
consummate literary skill, setting 
the standard for his successors. 

Selected by R.S. Hadji 

3. Walter De La Mare (1873-1956) 
The master of the psychological 
ghost story, De La Mare's stories 
consist of shifting ambiguities 
expressed in exquisite prose, 
glimpses of what might be the 
supernatural, and then again, 
might only be a faulty perception, 
a delusion. His genius lies in the 
palpably menacing atmosphere 
that rises from these subtly 
calculated ambiguities, deceiving 
the reader as effectively as the 
characters. The ghosts may not be 
real, but the unease is there, all 
the same. 

1. Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) 
Blackwood was a mystic, deeply 
versed in occult lore and Oriental 
religion, which lends to his work 
the quiet conviction of a true 
believer. His pantheistic beliefs 
convey a distinct sense of the 
supernatural as an extension, 
rather than an invasion, of the 
natural order. He is unrivaled in 
depicting genii loci, whether good 
or evil. 

M.R. James (1862-1936) 

James is the quintessential English 
ghost story writer, dry, 
understated, perhaps a trifle 
mechanical, yet lurking behind the 
bare bones of his diffident 
shcolars and their antiquities is a 
living heart of pure nightmare. 

His ghosts haunt the memory long 
after the dust of the past settles 
comfortably b.ack into place. 

4. Hanns Heinz Ewers (1871-1943) 
Perhaps the first modem horror 
writer. Ewers set out to explore 
the physical nexus of sex and 
horror. His works are decadent in 
mode, yet expressionist in mood; 
his obsession with blood-lust and 
the ritual element in mass violence 
anticipates the terrors of our time. 

2. Ray Bradbury (b. 1920) 

Although considered a science 
fiction writer by many, 

Bradbury's weird tales have had 
an enormous influence on the 
genre in the last four decades. He 
chronicles the night-side of the 
American Dream, Our Town 
distorted in a fun-house mirror. A 
poet in prose. Bradbury has 
uniquely captured the terror and 
wonder of childhood. 

7. Franz Kafka (1883-1924) 

Kafka was a Cjuiet revolutionary, 
overthrowing the ordinary world 
by distortion, so that the unreal 
becomes commonplace, and 
madness the norm. Rarely has so 
overpowering a sense of alienation 
and despair been presented with 

5. E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) 
Hoffmann was the first true 
master of weird fiction. 

84 Twilight Zone 


such economy; his work has the 
terrifying lucidity of a nightmare 
in daylight. 

8. J. Sheridan LeFanu (1814-1873) 

The greatest Victorian ghost story 
writer, LeFanu rejected the 
accepted notion that the spiritual 
world mirrored the moral order of 
our own, being convinced that 
the supernatural was essentially 
chaotic and malefic, the antithesis 
of life. In traditional Gothic 
settings, his characters are 
hounded to death, innocent and 
guilty alike, by implacable 
revenants whose descendants long 
outlived their gentler 

9. H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) 

A true original, Lovecraft looked 
beyond the earthly ken of 
supernatural terrors to envision a 
universe of "cosmic horror," 
populated by a pantheon of 
monstrous deities inimical to 
humanity. Despite his tortuous 
prose, the Cthulhu Mythos 
weaves a powerful spell of 
paranoia, alienation, and fear of 
the limitless void. 

10. Arthur Machen (1863-1947) 
Drawing upon a wide knowledge 
of Hermetic magic and Celtic 
folklore, Machen's gruesome 
symbolist fables opened a 
Pandora's Box of ancient evils 
lurking beneath the streets, the 
soil, even the skin of Victorian 
England. He was a master of 
evocative settings, whether city or 
country, at once intensely real yet 
subtly disturbing. Behind the 
facade of life, a greater, more 
terrible reality always lay hidden. 

11. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) 

The first American genius of the 
macabre, Poe used the mechanics 
of Gothic fiction as a metaphor 
for the abnormal psyche. Himself 
of a naturally morbid 
temperament, he pursued and was 
pursued by demons of the mind, 
yet, reaching to the limits of the 
imagination, managed to embrace 
both sublime beauty and 
loathsome horror in his work. 

Poe's influence on the genre has 
been incalculable and definitive. 

12. Jean Ray (1887-1964) 

Ray was a Belgian journalist, 
virtually unknown in the English- 
speaking world, but he produced 
an enormous body of work, 
covering every aspect of the 
supernatural genre. He rarely left 
Ghent save in imagination, but in 
that medium roamed a chaotic 
universe of extraordinary 
happenings, inhabited by ghosts, 
goblins and grotesques of every 
dscription. His work followed no 
consistent ethos of the 
supernatural, but seemed to be 
guided by a sort of internal 
dream logic, reminiscent of the 

13. Claude Seignolle (b. 1917) 

A master of naturalism in the 
supernatural tale, Seignolle draws 
upon an intimate knowledge of 
the French countryside, its 
inhabitants and their folklore. In 
his work, the supernatural is a 
living force of nature, releasing 
sexual and physical violence in its 
wake. It is as much a part of the 
landscape as the soil or the trees, 
and is accepted as such. 


Selected by Thomas M. Disch 

1. Caleb Williams, or Things as 
They Are 

by William Godwin (1794) 

A good man hounded to . . . his 
grave? I won't tell. The first epic 
of paranoia. 

2. The Monk by Matthew Gregory 
"Monk" Lewis (1796) 

The first X-rated gothic 
romance — and still juicy after 
all these years. 

3. Undine by Baron de la Motte 
Fouque (1818; Gosse Translation 

This fairy tale-novel from the 
heyday of German romanticism 
tells in a gentle, sentimental 
manner of the love of the water- 
sprite Undine for the young 
knight Huldbrand. Wagner was 
rereading this on his deathbed. 

4. Melmoth The Wanderer 
by Charles Maturin (1820) 

The quintessential Gothic novel; a 
virtual mince pie of horrors, 
including a splendid tour of the 
dungeons of the Inquisition. 

5. Confessions of a Justified Sinner 
by James Hogg (1824) 

Gide waxed enthusiastic for 
Hogg's portrait of the devil in 
modem dress; it's also the last 
word on doppelgangers. The 
sinner of the title is-an awesomely 
sanctimonious hypocrite. 

6. The Yellow Wallpaper 

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892) 
At the turn of the century 
madness displaced the 
supernatural as the crux of Gothic 
horror, and this tale of incipient 
schizophrenia is a monument of 
that transition — and an important 
document of modem feminism. 

7. The Turn of the Screw 
by Henry James (1898) 

Still the sneakiest and most 
sinister of ghost stories. Are Miles 
and Flora being corrupted by ' 
Peter Quint's ghost — or is the 
govemness imagining things? 

8. The Beckoning Fair One 
by Oliver Onions (1911) 

Paul Oleron rents a floor of a 
house on a London square, 
unaware that he's moved into the 
very St. Paul's Cathedral of 
haunted houses. 

9. Lady Into Fox 

by David Garnett (1922) 

The title tells the story, but for 
the sheer word-by-word wonder 
of its art, nothing can touch 
Garnett's masterpiece. 

10. The Werewolf of Paris 
by Guy Endore (1933) 

Frankenstein and Dracula were of 
English and Irish origin, 
respectively, but it was an 
American, Guy Endore, who 
wrote the definitive novel on 

rlycanthropy — one that no 
filmmaker has yet dared adapt. 

11. Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber (1943) 
Leiber wrote this classic account 

of witchcraft in academia forty 

Twilight Zone 85 


years ago, and the magic still 
works: his and its. Happy 

12. The Sound of His Horn 
by Sarban (pseudonym of 
John W. Wall) (1952) 

The Nazis won World War II, 
and now they're breeding lesser 
races as game to be hunted on 
their estates. Several degrees more 
chilling than "The Most 
Dangerous Game." 

13. Snow White 

by Donald Barthelme (1964) 
Postmodernism in collision with 
Walt Disney and the Brothers 
Grimm. Much fun, many games. 

Selected by Karl Edward Wagner 

1. Hell! Said the Duchess 
by Michael Arlen 

An unexpectedly chilling tale of 
demonic possession from this 
charming author. 

2. The Burning Court 
by John Dickson Carr 

Carr liked to introduce elements 
of the supernatural into his 
detective novels, usually with 
terrifying effect. Made into a film, 
but 1 haven't seen it. 

3. Alraune by Hanns Heinz Ewers 
The second of the Frank Braun 
trilogy, this one concerning the 
creation of a soulless woman 
whose birth parallels the legend of 
the mandrake. 

4. Dark Sanctuary 
by H. B. Gregory 

This begins routinely enough — an 
occult investigator is called in to 
slay an ancestral ghost in a 
gloomy castle— then takes off to 
become a 1930s version of Blish's 
Black Easter. Perhaps the best of 
the British thrillers. 

5. Falling Angel 

by William Hjortsberg 
This Chandleresque private eye 
novel may well be the finest 
American horror novel of this 


6. Maker of Shadows 
by Jack Mann 

The best of Mann's "Gees" series, 
most of which are very good 
indeed. Gees was a private 
investigator whose cases often 
involved the supernatural — in this 
case, pre-Druidic magic and an 
immortal sorcerer. 

7. The Yellow Mistletoe 

by Walter S. Masterman 
A wild one. Masterman was 
another of those detective writers 
who at times broke away from 
formula. This one reads like a 
cross between Monk Lewis and 
Sax Rohmer. 

8. Melmoth the Wanderer 

by Charles Robert Maturin 
The greatest of the Gothic novels, 
proving that gothic and 
psychological horrors are doubly 
effective when combined. 

9. Burn Witch Bum by A. Merritt 
Best known for his lost-race 
fantasy novels, this time Merritt is 
equally brilliant at modem horror, 
in a tale of murderous dolls 
animated by the souls of their 
human counterparts. Filmed as 
The Devil-Doll. 

10. Fingers of Fear 
by J.U. Nicolson 

This one has it all: lycanthropy, 
vampirism, family curse, patricide, 
incest, infanticide, hauntings, the 
works. Supposedly it was 
marketed as straight detective 
fiction. Must have freaked out the 
Agatha Christie fans. 

11. Doctors Wear Scarlet 
by Simon Raven 

Is it vampirism or is it neurotic 
obsession? Ask the dead. Superb 
modern vampire novel was filmed 
as Incense for the Damned 
(a/k/a Bloodsuckers). 

12. Echo of a Curse by R.R. Ryan 
Undeservedly forgotten, Ms. Ryan 
was the best of the British thriller 
writers— a group who wrote 
popular fiction for the lending 
libraries, roughly parallel to the 
pulp writers in America between 
the world wars. This novel of 

lycanthropy and vampirism rates 
with Fingers of Fear as one 
of the best. 

13. Medusa by E.H. Visiak 

If David Lindsay had written 
Treasure Island in the throes of a 
peyote-induced religious experience 
. . . Well, if Coleridge had given 
Melville a hand on Moby Dick 
after a few pipes of opium . . . 

Selected by Karl Edward Wagner 

1. The Deadly Percheron 
by John Franklin Bardin 
The opening chapter defies 
description. Imagine one of those 
1930s screwball comedies with the 
crazy situations, but substitute 
malevolence for humor. 

2. Psycho by Robert Bloch 
Can you ever feel safe in the 
shower again? I think there may 
have been a film version by 
Alfred Hitchcock. 

3. Here Comes a Candle 
by Fredric E'rown 

Brown, like Bloch, could be 
extremely funny when he chose, 
or extremely frightening. This 
time he wasn't kidding. 

4. The Screaming Mimi 
by Fredric Brown 

Brown again at his terrifying best, 
and again with a psychotic killer. 
This was filmed twice: once as 
The Screaming Mirni and more 
recently as The Bird with the 
Crystal Plumage (a/k/a The 
Phantom of Terror). 

5. The Fire-Spirits by Paul Busson 
A strange tale of a young man's 
involvement with a bewitching 
peasant child, mountain legends, 
and German unification. The 
English translation is said to be 
heavily expurgated, but I haven't 
read the German to compare. 

6. The Crooked Hinge 
by John Dickson Carr 
Sometimes Carr actually did use 
the supernatural in his detective 
novels, sometimes he only seemed 

86 Twilight Zone 

8 . 

to do so. The Crooked Hinge 
does not turn out to be a ghost 
story, but that won't spare 
your nerves. 

The Sorcerer's Apprentice 
by Hanns Heinz Ewers 
The first of the Frank Braun 
trilogy. Braun hypnotizes a 
peasant girl into believing she has 
known a heavenly visitation, the 
isolated village goes mad with 
religious frenzy, and Braun is in 
over his head. 

Vampire by Hanns ffeinz Ewers 
Third and most obviously political 
of the Frank Braun trilogy. Braun 
tours the United States before its 
entry into World War I, trying to 
gain support for the German 
cause, during which time he 
suffers from periods of weakness 
and blackouts. The question of 
who is the victim and who the 
master was a recurrent dilemma 
in Ewers's work, and one which 
the Nazis finally soh'ed for him. 

Fully Dressed and in His Right 
Mind by Michael Fessier 
Like John Franklin Bardin, Fessier 
takes a screwball situation 
and adroitly twists it into 
something evil. 

13. The Subjugated Beast 
by R. R. Ryan 

Ryan could be extremely sadistic 
when the mood was on her, and 
the mood was usually on her, and 
it certainly was here. Ryan could 
combine psychological cruelty 
with Grand Guignol horror better 
than any writer going, except 
perhaps Charles Birkin, and she 
had a knack for putting her 
characters into situations that 
would have given Hitchcock 
qualms. This would have made a 
great Hitchcock film, although the 
British probably had laws against 
such things. 

Selected by R.S. Hadji 

1. The Sorrows of Satan 
by Marie Corelli 

The worst sort of Victorian tripe, 
sentimental, vulgar and 
monumentally boring. Her 
contemporary critics evidently felt 
much the same way. 

10. The Shadow on the House 
by Mark Hansom 
Hansom is another of the unjustly 
neglected group of British thriller 
writers. Usually his novels only 
appeared to have supernatural 
content, and at the end we learn 
it was only Uncle G«!offrey in a 
Mad Monk costume behind it all. 
The ending to this one is a 

11. Torture Garden 

by Octave Mirbeau 
Fin-de-siecle decadence at its best. 
At one time one of those 
"suppressed" books and now 
chiefly remembered for one of 
Prank Frazetta's rarer paperback , 

12. The Master of the Day of 
' Judgment by Leo Perutz real or is it hashish? But 
what is reality? It's aE relative, 
isn't it? This one is strange, even 
for Perutz. 

2. Unholy Relics, by M.P. Dare 
Dreadful ghost stories, in the 
M.R. James tradition, poorly 
written and ripe with 
embarrassing imagery Freudians 
would have a field 

day with. 

3. Count Dracula's Canadian Affair 
by Otto Fredrick 

Dracula vs. the Mounties during 
the North-West Rebellion of 1885. 
Need I say more? 

4. The Grip of Fear 
by Vern Hansen 

Evidently a shaky one, this being 
the second most inept collection 
of weird tales I've ever read. The 
"author" is blissfully innocent of 
such niceties as imagination, style, 
or grammar. 

5. Rest in Agony by Ivar Jorgenson 
A pulpy-to-rotten diabolic thriller, 
much worse than any of The 
Exorcist's misbegotten progeny. 

After twenty-five years, still a 
champion stinker. 

6. Dracutwig 

by Mallory T. Knight 
Vampire dollybird takes on sixties 
"Swinging London." I burned my 
copy some years back, and have 
not been troubled since. 

7. The Transition of Titus Crow 
by Brian Lumley 

"Doe not calle up Any wordes 
that you cannot put downe in 
readable prose, lest Vogge-Sothoth 
drye yr ink in the pen, and eate 
yr face." — Claus Vomitus. 

8. The Vampire Tapes 
by Arabella Randolphe 
Howlingly bad imitation of 
Interview with the Vampire. 

9. Suffer the Children 
by John Saul 

A vile book, just shy of "kiddie 
porn." The real horror is that this 
was a bestseller! 

10. Cellars by John Shirley 

The most thoroughly disgusting 
horrojf thriller in recent memory, 
a declaration of war on all 
standards of taste in the genre. 

11. The Sucking Pit 
by Guy N. Smith 
The title says it all. 

12. The Lair of the White Worm 
by Bram Stoker 

A thoroughly demented book, at 
times unintentionally hilarious. 

The author evidently was half- 
mad when he wrote this, the 
absolute proof of same. 

13. The Vamipire Baroness 
by Violet Van Der Elst 
Now this is the most inept 
collection I've ever read, a 
legendary British stinker. She also 
wrote poetry and songs— believe 
me, you don't want to know. 18 

The Fantasy Five-Foot Bookshelf 
concludes in our next issue with lists 
of neglected masterpieces, science 
fiction horror novels, best works of 
fantasy since 1970, and the scariest 
short stories of all time. 

Twilight Zone 87 

Photos courtesy More Scott Zicree and Serlir^g Archives. Ithoco College School of Communications 


B Y 



TV’s Twilight Zone 
Part Twenty-Four 


“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. 
Beyond it is another dimension— a dimension of 
sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. 
You’re moving into a land of both shadow and 
substance, of things and ideas. You’ve jitst crossed 
over into the Twilight Zone. ’’ 

he’s in high ge 
Twilight Zone. 


Written by Martin M. Goldsmith 

Producer: William Froug 

Director; Richard L. Bare 

Dir. of Photography: George T. Clemens 

Music: Stock 


Joe Britt: William Demarest 
Phyllis Britt: Joan Blondell 
TV Repairman: Sterling Holloway 
Dr. Saltman: Herbert Lytton 
Woman: Sandra Gould 
Judge: Howard Wright 
Russian Duke: John L. Sullivan 
Panther Man: Ted Christy 
Car Salesman: Ron Stokes 
Prosecutor; Douglas Bank 
Announcer: Tonv Miller 

After loudmouth Britt insults a tv 
repairman working on his set, the 
man abruptly closes up the television 
and says that it's fixed — for free. Britt 
thinks nothing of this until he sees 
that the set is able to pick up channel 
10 — something it's never done before 
—and that the screen shows Joe in 
the company of his mistress! Joe is 
desperate that his shrewish wife 
Phyllis not see this. Things rapidly 
get worse, however; the tv now 
shows a scene in which Joe argues 
with Phyllis and punches her through 
their apartment window to her 
death — a scene which only Joe seems 
able to see and hear. Frantic to avoid 
this tragedy, Joe admits his past 
adultery and begs Phyllis to forgive 
him. This only serves to infuriate her; 
the two argue and Joe, enraged, 
punches Phyllis through the window. 
As the police lead him away the 
repairman appears. "Fix your set 

okay, mister?" he asks Joe. "You will 
recommend my service, won't you?" 

"The next time your tv set is on the 
blink, when you're in the need for a 
first-rate repairman, may we suggest 
our own specialist? Factory- trained, 
prompt, honest, twenty-four-hour 
service. You won't find him in 
the phone book, hut his office is 
conveniently located— in the 
Twilight Zone. " 

"Portrait of a tv fan. Name: Joe 
Britt. Occupation: cab driver. 

Tonight, Mr. Britt is going to watch 
‘a really big show,' something special 
for the cabbie who's seen everything. 
Joe Britt doesn't know it, but his flag 
is down and his meter's running and 

88 Twilight Zone 


Written by Rod Serling 

Producer: William Froug 

Director: Abner Biberman 

Dir. of Photography: George T. Clemens 

Music: Stock 

i Cast 

■ Sheriff Koch: Michael Constantine 
Colbey: Paul Fix 

i Jagger: Terry Becker 

j Deputy Pierce: George Lindsey 
Rev. Anderson: Ivan Dixon 
Ella Koch: Eve McVeagh 
Man jjtl: Douglas Bank 
Man jf2: Ward Wood 
Woman: Elizabeth Harrower 

"Sheriff Charlie Koch on the morning 
of an execution. As a matter of fact, 
it's seven-thirty in the morning. Logic 
and natural laws dictate that at this 
hour there should be daylight. It is a 
simple rule of physical science that 
the sun should rise at a certain 
moment and supercede the darkness. 
But at this given rthoment, Sheriff 

\ 145. THE MASKS 

Written by Rod Serling 

Producer: Bert Granet 

Director: Ida Lupino 

Dir. of Photography: George T. Clemens 

Music: Stock 


Jason Foster: Robert Keith 
Emily Harper: Virginia Gregg 
Wilfred Harper: Milton Selzer 
Wilfred, Jr.: Alan Sues 
Paula Harper: Brooke Hayward 
Doctor: Willis Bouchey 
Butler: Bill Walker 


"Mr. Jason Foster, a tired ancient 
who on this particular Mardi Gras 
evening will leave the earth. But 
before departing he has some things 
to do, some services to perform, 
some debts to pay — and some justice 
to mete out. This is New Orleans, 
Mardi Gras time. It is also the 
Twilight Zone." 

Knowing he is about to die, Foster 
summons his heirs — with v/hom he 
shares no affection — to his mansion 
for a bizarre Mardi Gras ritual. A 
Cajun has fashioned grotesque masks 
for him that reflect the true inner 
natures of his family: the whiny self- 
pity of his daughter Emily; the 

Charlie Koch, a deputy named Pierce, 
a condemned man named Jagger and 
a small, inconsequential village will 
shortly find out that there are causes 
and effects that have no precedent. 
Such is usually the case — in the 
Twilight Zone." 

On the day Jagger is to be executed, 
a number of people wonder why it's 
still pitch-black throughout the 
Midwestern town. Jagger is an 
unpopular idealist whose trial — for 
killing a "cross-burning, psychopathic 
bully" — had a number of questionable 
elements: Deputy Pierce perjured 
himself on the stand; Sheriff Koch 
failed to bring up facts that might 
have led to acquittal; and Colbey, 
editor of the town paper, printed 
only articles naming Jagger guilty, 
although he personally believed him 
innocent. On the gallows. Rev. 
Anderson asks Jagger if he enjoyed 
the killing — Jagger did indeed. 
Anderson pronounces him guilty to 
the blood-thirsty crowd, and Jagger is 
hanged. The darkness closes in, a 

darkness created by hate . . . and it's 
spreading to other parts of the world. 

"A sickness known as hate: not a 
virus, not a microbe, not a germ — 
but a sickness nonetheless, highly 
contagious, deadly in its effects. 

Don't look for it in the Twilight 
Zone — look for it in a mirror. Look 
for it before the light goes out 
altogether. " 

avarice of his son-in-law Wilfred; the 
vanity of his granddaughter Paula; 
and the dull cruelty of his grandson 
Wilfred, Jr. Foster demands that they 
wear the masks until midnight; as for 
him, he will wear a death's-head. 
They refuse — until he informs them 
that they'll be disinherited unless they 
comply. Their greed overcomes their 
disgust; they all don the masks. As 
the hours slowly tick by, Foster's kin 
beg to be allowed to discard the 
masks, but Foster is steadfast in his 
determination. As midnight tolls, 
Foster dies. Overjoyed to be rid of 
him and to have gained his wealth. 

his family throw off the masks — and 
are horrified to see that their faces 
have taken on the hideous physical 

characteristics of the masks. 

"Mardi Gras incident, the dramatis 
personae being four people who came 
to celebrate, and in a sense, let 
themselves go. This they did with a 
vengeance. They now wear the faces 
of all that was inside them — and 
they'll wear them for the rest of 
their lives, said lives now to be spent 
in shadow. Tonight's tale of men, 
the macabre, and masks — on the 
Twilight Zone." (0' 

Twilight Zone 89 

© 1969 by Rod Serling 


Shot of the sky . . . the various 
nebulae and planet bodies stand 
out in sharp, sparkling relief. As 
the CAMEl^ begins a SLOW 
PAN across the heavens— 


There is a fifth dimension 
beyond that which is known 
to man, It is a dimension as 
vast as space and timeless as 
infinity. It is the middle ground 
between light and shadow, 
between science and 
superstitioa and it lies 
between the pit of man's fears 
and the summit of his 
knowledge. This is the 
dimension of imagination. It 
is an area which we call the 
Twilight Zone. 

The CAMERA has begun to PAN 
DOWN until it passes the horizpn 
and is flush on the OPENING 

We are now looking at an 
empty patch of desert an arrid, 
dull nondescript piece of land, its 
monotony broken only by an 
occasional scrubby, dying cactus, 
and a few sand dunes that shift 
nervously and sporadically in a 
wind that provides the only 
motion and the only sound to an 
otherwise stagnant scene. The 
CAMERA PANS LEFT very slowly 
until it is on a— 


That sits alone in the desert This 
is a ramshackle, two-room affair 
made of corrugated steet 
driftwood, and other nondescript 
material. Alongside is a beat-up 
vintage 1930's sedaa Beyond 
and behind ttiis is a tiny tool 
shed that houses a small 
generator. A limp wire extends 
from the shed to the shack. 

(over the pan) 

Witness, if you wilt a dungeoa 
made out of mountains, salt 
flats, and sand that stretch to 
infinity. The dungeon has an 
inmate; James A. Corry, And 
this is his residence; a metal 
shack. An old touring car that 
squats in the sun and goes 
nowhere— for there is nowhere 
to go. 

At this point we see Corry come 
out of the house. He's dressed in 
jeans and a ttireadbare shirt. He 
looks up toward the pale sky 
and the strange, sick, white 
gleam of the sua shades his 
eyes, walks over toward the car 
and stops, looks at it touches it 
with his hand, then leans against 
it and stares once again toward 
the horizon. 


Across the car looking at Corry. 



by Rod Serling 

NOVEMBER 13, 1959 


James A, Corry Jack Warden 

Alicia Jean Marsh 

Capt. Allenby John Dehner 

Adams Ted Knight 

Carstairs James 'Turley 

90 Twilight Zone 

Photos courtesy the Serling Archives, Ithaca College School of Communications, by PJ. Wacker 

He's a man in his early forties of 
medium height, perhaps a little 
more muscular than most men. 
His face was once a strong taca 
it is no longer. There is no will 
lett and no resolve. What we see 
on it now is resignation; a sense 
of dull, pervading. hopelessness. 
He rather aimlessly opens the car 
door and, leaving it opea slides 
in to sit in the driver's seat and 
look out the front windshield. The 
ifs shooting through the front 
windshield toward him 


As he gets out of the car and 
stares across toward the horizon. 


For the record let it toe known 
that James A. Corry is a 
convicted criminal placed in 
solitary confinement. 
Confinement in this case 
stretches as far as the eye can 
see, because this particular 
dungeon is on an asteroid 
nine million miles from the 

The CAMERA PANS slorvly up 
toward the sky to where we see 
a shot ot the earth. 


Now witness, if you will a 
man's mind and body 
shriveling in the sua a man 
dying of loneliness. 


Corry, shoulders slumped 
walking in a kind of dr aggy, 
aimless shuttle, goes back toward 
the shack and walks inside. 



The inside, like the exterior, is 
makeshift and looks temporary. 
'The furniture is made cut of 
packing coses. There's an aged 
windup Victrola, an icebox. The 
bed is disheveled and dirty. He 
walks over to a small rickety 
table, takes out a dog-eared 
ledger, opens it and rifles 
through the pages slowly and 
rather aimlessly. Then he takes a 
pencil sits dowa and starts to 
very slowly as he voices aloud 
that which he is writing. 


Entry, fifteenth day, sixth 
month . . . the year four. And 

all the days and the months 
and the years the same. 

(a pause. Now he sits as he 

There'll be a supply ship 
coming in sooa I think. 

They're either due or overdue, 
and I hope it's AUenby's ship 
because he's a decent man 
and he brings things for me. 
(he stops writing for a moment 
looks down at the ledger, then 
continues to write) 

Like he brought in the parts to 
that antique automobile. I was 
a year putting that thing 
together— such as it is. A whole 
year putting an old car 

(a pause) 

But thank God for that car 
and for the hours it used up 
and the days and the weeks. I 
can look at it out there and I 
know it's real and reality is 
what I need. Because what is 
there left that I can believe 
in? The desert and the wind? 
The silence? Or myself— can I 
believe in myself anymore? 
(another pause) 

Disjointed thought ... a little 
crazy . . . but maybe I'll 
become like that car. 
Inanimate. Just an item sitting 
in the sand— and then would I 
feel loneliness? Would I feel 
misery? I wonder . . . 

He slowly lets the pencil drop out 
of his fingers, looks down at the 
book. His eyes close, then he 
slumps forward, burying his face 
in his arms, leaning against the 



Through the -window we can see 
Corry sleeping, still by the table. 
There's the distant roaring sound 
of engines, a flash of light that 
shines against the side of the 
shack and enters the window. 

We see Corry start, and rise and 
race to the door, flinging it opea 
peering out over the landscape. 



Dressed in simple uniforms not 
unlike pilots of today. The 
CAMERA STAYS directly on them 
as they approach. Into the frame 
from behind the camera comes 
Corry, who is racing out to meet 
them. His fingers clench arrd 

unclench at his side. He takes a 
few fast stumbling steps toward 
thera then thinking better of it 
stops and thea gi-ving in agaia 
runs toward them again. 


As they suddenly meet a few 
feet from one another. The head 
of the space group stops. This is 
AUenby a man in his fifties. He 
nods a little curtly. 


How are you, Corry? 

All right. 

There's a silence now. Adams, 
one of the other two spacemea 
looks around. 


Quite a place you got here, 


I'm so glad you like it 

I didn't say I liked it. I think it 


You don't have to live here 
now, do you? 


No, but I've got to come back 
here four times a year. And 
that's eight months out of 
twelve, Corry, away from 
earth. Sometimes my kids 
don't even recognize me 
when I come home. 

(very simply) 

I'm sorry. 

(■with a look) 

I'll bet you are! But you've got 
it made, don't you Corry? 
Makes for simple living, 
doesn't it? 

(he bends down and picks up a 
handful of sand) 

This is Corr-y^s kingdom. 

(he lets the sand run through his 

Right here. Six thousand miles 
north to south. Four thousand 
miles east to west— and all of 
it's just like this! 

The CAMERA is on Corr-y's face 
now. He wets his lips. He wants to 
soy something -with desperate 
urgency. AUenby sees the look, 
looks away a little uncomfortably 
for a moment 

-t, Twilight Zone 91 

The Lonely 


We've only got a litfeen- 
minute layover, Corry. 

Corry wets his lips and tries to 
keep the supplication out ot his 


Nobody's checking your 
schedule out here. Why don't 
we have a game of cards or 


(shakes his head) 

I'm sorry, Corry. This isn't an 
arljitrary decision. It we delay 
out time ot departure any 
more than filteen minutes, that 
places us in a different orbital 
position. We'd never make it 
back to earth. We'd hove to 
stay here at least fourteen 
days before this place was in 
position again. 


So, fourteen days? Why not 
have us a ball? I've got Some 
beer I've saved. We could 
play some cards, tell me 
what's going on back there— 


(with an embarrassed look 
at the others) 

I wish we could, Corry, but like 
I said— we've only got fifteen 
minutes . . . 


(his voice rising and getting 
shaky as if losing control) 

Well . . . well what's a few 
lousy days to you? Couple of 
card games. 

(he nods toward the others) 

How about you guys? You 
think I'll murder you or 
something over a bad hand? 


(quietly and firmly) 

I'm sorry, Corry. 

(he starts to take Corry's arm) 

Let's go to the shack— 

Corry flings off his arm, not in 
anger, but in desperation. 


All right. Two minutes are 
gone now. You've got thirteen 
mintues left. I wouldn't want to 
foul up your schedule, AUenby. 
Not for a . . . 

(he looks away) 

Not for a lousy game of cards. 
Not for a few bottles of 
crumrhy beer. 

Then he looks up slowly, turns to 
92 Twilight Zone 

lock eyes with AUenby. He seems 
; to catch his breath for a 


AUenby . . . what about the 


(squinting up toward the sky, his 
voice very matter of fact) 

You're out of luck, Corry. 
Sentence reads fifty years and 
they're not even reviewing 
cases of homicide. You've 
been here four now. That 
makes forty-six to go, so get 
comfortable, dad, huh? 

He laughs until his eyes reach 
AUenby's, AUenby stares at him 
then wets his lips and looks 
away. Adams's lough dies out. 


As the three men head toward 
the shack. Corry's eyes are 
down, staring at the sand where 
his feet make crunchy sounds as 
they sink down over the crust of 
the top layer. AUenby, alongside 
of him as they walk, looks at 
him intermittently. 


As they reach a small knoll. 

Over their shoulder we see the 
shack and car sitting here in 
mute, ugly loneliness. Corry stops 
instinctively to stare at them. 
AUenby touches his arm 
compassionately with an 
instinctive gentleness. 



I'm sorry, Corry. Unfortunately, 
we don't make the rules. All 
we do is deliver your supplies 
and pass on information. I told 
you last time there's been a 
lot of pressure back home 
about this kind of punishment. 
There are a whole lot of 
people who think it is 
unnecessarily cruel Well who 
knows what the next couple 
of years will bring? They may 
change their minds, alter the 
low, imprison you on earth 
like the old days. 


(turns to stare intently into the 
older man's face) 

AUenby, I have to tell you 
something. Every morning . , . 
every morning when I get up 
I tell myself that this is my last 
day of sanity, I won't be able 
to Uve another day of 

loneUness. Not another day, 
and by noon when I can't 
keep my Lngers still and the 
inside of my mouth feels like 
gun powder and burnt copper 
and deep inside my gut I've 
got an ache that won't go 
away and seems to be 
crawUng aU over the inside of 
my body, prickling at me, 
tearing little chunks out of me 
—and then I think I've got to 
hold out for another day, just 
another doY. 

(then he turns to stare down at 
the shack) 

But I can't keep doing that 
doY after coy for the next 
forty-six years. I'll lose my 
mind, AUenby. 


You're breokin' my heart— 

Corry whirls around to stare at 
him. His features contort. There's 
an animal-like growl that shouts 
out deep from his throat and 
suddenly, losing aU control he 
lunges at Adams, hitting him 
twice, crunching, desperate 
blows that sm.ash against 
Adams's face and propel him 
backwards to sprawl face-first in 
the sand, AUe:nby and the other 
officer grab Corry's arms. 



Easy, Corry, easy! 

GraduaUy Corry lets his body 
relax, going the route from a 
trembling, shaking ague to a 
heavy, tired rriotionlessness. 


As he rises from the sand, 
gingerly touches the bruise on 
his face. 


I wouldn't worry about going 
off my rocker, Corry. It's 
already hap)pened. Stir crazy, 
they used to caU it. Well that's 
what you aie now. Stir crazy. 


(taking a step toward him to 
keep him back) 

Back off, Adams. You and 
Carstairs go back and get the 
suppUes. Bring them over to 
the shack. 



Mr. Corry has a broken leg or 

He points to Corry, 


Go ahead, do as I tell you. 

And the big crate with the red 
; tag— handle that one gently. 


i How about the use ct his 
buggy there? Some ot the 
stuff's heavy. 


(as if shaken out of a dream, 

It isn't running today 



It isn't running today! What's 
the matter, Corry— use it too 
much, do you? 

(to Carstairs) 

You know, there's so many 
places a guy can go out here. 
There's the country club over 
the mound there and the 
seashore over that way, and 
the drive-in theater, that's 
someplace around here, isn't it, 


Knock it off, Adams, and go 
' get the stuff. 

; Adams and Carstairs turn with 
’ another look toward Corry and 
^ start back across the desert. 
Allenby takes Corry's arm and 
the two men walk toward the 



As they walk past the car and 
the shed and into the shack. 


Corry goes over to sit on the bed 
to stare numbly across the room 
at nothing. Allenby crosses over 
■to the icebox, takes out a jug of 
water, looks around the room 
and then over to Corry. 





Paper cups. On the shelf there. 

Allenby unscrews the jcr and 
sniffs, makes a face, then pours 
some v/ater into a cup, takes it 
in a quick gulp. 


We've got some fresh on 
bodrd. They'll be bringing it 

Corry nods numbly. Allenby pulls 
up a chair so that he's sitting 

directly opposite Corry. 

Brought you some magazines, 
too. Strictly on my own. 





And some old vintage movies. 
Science-fiction stuff. You'll get a 
kick out of it. 


(nods, looks up unsmiling) 

I'm sure 1 will. 

Allenby bites his lip and looks at 
Corry for a long, silent moment, 
then he rises and crosses to the 


1 brought you something else, 
Corry. It would mean my job 
if they suspected. 

(then he turns toward Corry) 

It would be my neck if they 
found out for sure. 

(he retraces his steps back over 
the chair and sits down) 

I doubt if it'll be much 
consolation to you, but it's not 
easy handling this kind of 
assignment. Stopping here four 
times a year and having to 
look at a man's agony. 


You're quite right. That's 
precious little consolation. 

There's a long, long silence. 
Allenby rises. 


Well, I c?btn't bring you 
freedom, Corry. All I can do . . . 
all I can do is to try to bring 
you things to help keep your 

(a pause) 

Something . . . anything so you 
can fight loneliness. 

He looks across the room and 
out the window. 


Look, Allenby, I don't want 
gifts now, I don't want tidbits. It 
makes me feel like an animal 
in a cage and there's a nice 
old lady out there who wants 
to throw peanuts at me. 

(he suddenly lashes out and 
grabs Allenby) 

A pardon, Allenby, that's the 
only gift I want. I'm not a 
murderer. I killed in self- 
defense. A lot of people 
believe me and it happens to 
be the truth. I killed in self- 


(gently takes Corry's hands off of 

I know Corry. I know all about 


Adams and Carstairs are both 
lugging a small metal cart 
loaded down with crates and 
supplies. They enter the area of 
the shack to bring the cart up 
close to the front door. The two of 
them take a heavy crate off the 
top of the pile, a red tag 
fluttering from one end. They lay 
it down in the sand. 



You want this big crate 
opened up. Captain? 


(calls out) 


Twilight Zone 93 

Not yet. Stay out there. I'll be 
right out. 



I'll bile. Captain. What's the 

(he looks briefly through the 

What is it? 

He rises, goes over to the window 
to stare out at the long, 
rectangular box. 


Of the box as it lies in the sand. 


As he turns back toward the 


It it's a twenty-year supply of 
puzzles. I'll have to decline 
with thanks. I don't need any 
puzzles, Allenby. It I want to 
try to probe any mysteries— I 
can look in the mirror and try 
to figure out my own. 


(crosses over to the door, opens it 
turns back to Corry) 

We've got to go now. We'll be 
back in three months. 

(a pause) 

Are you listening to me, 

Corry? This is important 

Corry stares at him. 


When you open up the crate 
there's nothing you need do. 
The . . . item has been vacuum- 
packed. It needs no activator 
94 Twilight Zone 

of any kind. The air will do 
that. There'll be a booklet 
inside, too, that can answer 
any of your questions. 


You're mysterious as hell. 

I don't mean to be. It's just like 
I told you, though— I'm risking 
a lot to have brought this 

(he points to the door) 

They don't know what it is I 
brought. I'd appreciate your 
waiting until we get out of 



All right. Have a good trip 
back . . . Give my regards to . . . 
(he wets his lips) 

... to Broadway. And every 
place else while you're at it. 


Sure, Corry. I'll see you. 

He goes out the door, motions to 
the other two men. They start to 
follow him. 



Standing at the door. 





The three men pause to look 
toward the shack. In the 
foreground in front of them we 
see the long crate lying all by 
itself in the sand. 



He walks down the step and 
stands near the box, points to it. 


I don't much care what it is. 
For the thought, Allenby. For 
the ... for the decency of it . . . 

I thank you. 



You're quite welcome, Corry. 

He turns and the other two follow 


Looking down at them as they 
slowly tramp across the sand 
and disappear over the line of 


He watches them go, shading his 
eyes again at the sun then very 
slowly he looks down at the box. 
He stares at it for a long moment, 
then he kneete down to feel its 
sides and finally finds the two 
release catches. His hands go out 
to touch them simultaneously. He 
pushes them, and very slowly 
the top of the box opens. 


Looking up as from inside the 
box toward Corry's face as he 
stares into it. His eyes suddenly 
widen with astonishment. 



What we are seeing is just part 
of a hatch and a metal ladder. 
Carstairs is just clambering up 
them to disappear inside this 
ship. Adams starts to follow him. 
He pauses halfway up to look 
toward Allentry, who in turn is 
staring off into the distance. 


Captain— just man to man, 




What did you bring him? 

Whai was in the box? 


As he slowly scratches the beard 
stubble of his square jaw. 


(very softly as if to no one in 

I'm not sure really, Maybe it's 
just an illusion— or maybe it's 

Then he turns, motions Adams 
up the ladder, and then follows 
him up. 



The top of the box has been 
opened and as the CAMERA 
PANS over it toward the shack 
we see that it is empty. The 
CAMERA continues to PAN over 
to the shack. 



Corry stands at the far end of 
the room staring off beyond the 
camera. He has a bock in his 
hand which he suddenly seems 
to remember. He looks down at 
it, stares at the cover for a long 
moment then opens it with both 
his hands. He studies it perplexed 
for a long moment then he looks 
up again. Then he looks down 
at the book again and slowly he 
reads aloud. 


You are now the proud owner 
of a robot built in the form of 
a woman To all intent and 
purpose this creature is a 
woman Physiologically and 
psychologically she is a 
human being with a set of 
emotions, a memory track, the 
ability to reason, to think, and 
to speak. She is beyond illness, 
and under normal 
circumstances should have a 
life span similar to that of a 
comparable human being. Her 
name is Alicia. 

Very slowly Corry's head rises. 
room to a shot of Alicia who sits 
in a chair looking back at him. 
While she looks human there is 
something too immobile, too 
emotionless about her features. 
There is a deadness to the eyes 
when they look back at him, 
showing neither resignation nor 
interest and only bare 
awareness. She's dressed in a 
simple loose, flowing garment 
that neither adds to nor detracts 
from her femininity. Corry takes 
a few hesitant steps toward her, 
his eyes wide, a fright working its 

way out. His mouth moves but 
nothing comes. 



That's my name— Alicia. 

What's yours? 


He stops dead in his tracks and 
suddenly he looks horrified, sick 
with distaste. He shakes his head 
from side to side and backs 


(in a very low voice) 

Get out of here. 

(now a shout) 

Get out of here! 1 don't want 
any machine in here! Go on, 
get out of here! 

With an effort he grabs the girl 
and propels her out the door 
and slams it behind her. Then he 
leans against the door, eyes 
closed, breathing heavily and 
gradually his composure comes 
back. He takes a few steps back 
toward the center of the room. In 
the process he looks toward the 


The girl stands there in the yard 
staring at him. 








Corry is in the process of putting 
up a shelf. He stands on a small 
aluminum ladder, pounding with 
hammer and nails. The sweat 
pours down his face. He tests the 
shelf, then gets down off the 
ladder, picks up a towel and 
wipes his face, suddenly looks 
down at his feet. 


CAMERA PULLS BACK for shot of 
Alicia standing there. 




I brought you some water. 
Where shall I put it? 


Just leave it there and get out, 

It will get warm just sitting 


(takes a glass, dips it in 
the water) 

You'd know, huh? 

He takes a drink. 


I can feel thirst. 

Corry wipes his mouth with the 
back of his hand and looks at 
her intensely. 


As he stares at her. The same 
look of abhorrence as if 
clinically examining some 
foreign object. 


Her eyes go down and she turns 



What else can you feel? 

I don't understand— 


I suppose you can feel heat 
and cold? How about pain? 
Can you feel pain? 

(nods softly) 

That too. 

Corry takes a step over toward 
her, looking down at her. 


How? How can you? You're a 
machine, aren't you? 





Of course you are. So why 
didn't they build you to look 
like a machine? Why aren't 
you made out of metal with 
nuts and bolts sticking out of 
you? With wires and 
electrodes and things like 

(hte face contorts now and his 
voice rises) 

Why do they turn you into a 
lie? Why do they cover you 
with what looks like flesh? 

Why do they give you a face? 
A face that if I look at long 
enough makes me think . . , 

- - Twilight Zone 95 

The Lonely 

makes me believe that . . . 

His hands grab her shoulders 
and go up past her neck to cup 
her face in a hard, painful grasp, 
Alicia closes her eyes against the 



He releases her, strides past her 
and out the door, 



Corry stands halfway to the car, 
his back to the shack. 


You mock me, you know that? 
When you look at me. When 
you talk to me— I'm being 

I'm sorry. 

(then she slowly reaches up, feels 
of her neck and shoulders) 

You hurt me, Corry, « 


(turns to her, walks over very 
close to her) 

Hurt you? How could I hurt 

(he grabs her again) 

This isn't flesh. There aren't any 
nerves under there. There 
aren't any tendons or muscles. 

He suddenly pushes her bodily 



As she sprawls head first into the 


Then in the same fury that 
knows neither logic nor 
understanding, he searches 
wildly around and then picks up 
a shovel. He holds it by the 
handle and brandishes it up 
high. He shouts at her. 


You know what you are? 

You're like that broken-down 
heap I've got sitting in the 
yard. You're a hunk of metal 
with arms and legs instead of 
wheels. But that heap doesn't 
mock me like you do. It doesn't 
look at me with make-believe 
eyes and talk to me with a 
make-believe voice. 

(he takes a. step toward her, now 
the shovel up high) 

Well, listen you . . . listen 
96 Twilight Zone 

machine. I'm sick at being 
- mocked by a ghost. By a 
memory of women. And that's 
all you are. You're a reminder 
to me that I'm so lonely I'm 
about to lose my mind. 

And now his face is completely 
contorted, wild-eyed. He raises 
the shovel and is about to bring 
it down on her. 


She looks up at him and then 
her eyes close and tears appear. 
Then when she opens her eyes 
again we look at her as from a 
new and fresh perspective. The 
face is no longer inanimate, no 
longer immobile. It now has 
depth, emotion. It is filled with the 
nuances and mysteries of the 
woman and there is a beauty 
now that shines out. 


As he reacts. He hesitates and 
then lets the shovel drop out of 
his hand onto the sand. Very, 
very slowly he kneels down to 
crouch very close to her. His 
hand reaches out and touches 
the tears on her face and now 
his voice is gentle. 


You can cry too, can't you? 



With reason. And I can feel 
loneliness, too. 

Corry takes her arm and helps 
her to her feet then stands very 
close to her, looking down at her 


Well go back inside now. 

We'll eat our dinner. 

All right. 

She starts to walk on ahead of 



She turns to look at him. 


I don't care ... I don't care 
how you were born ... or 
made. You're flesh and blood 
to me. You're a woman. 

(a pause.) 

You're my companion, Alicia. I 
need you desperately. 


She smiles, 


And I need you, Corry. 

He goes up to walk alongside of 


looking; down on them 

As they walk toward the shack. 



As he sits in the homemade 
rocker. He looks off toward the 
horizon and then slowly begins 
to write as we hear his voice. 

Alicia has been with me now 
for eleven months. Twice 
when AUenby has brought the 
ship in with supplies I've 
hidden her so that the others 
wouldn't see her and I've seen 
the quesion in AUenby's eyes 
each time. It's a question I 
have myself. It's cifficult to 
write down what has been 
the sum total of this very 
strange and bizarre 
relationship. It is man and 
womaa man and machine, 
and there are times even 
when I know that Alicia is 
simply an extension of me. I 
hear my words coming from 
her. My emotions. The things 
that she has learned to love 
are those things that I've 

He stops abruptly as he listens to 
Alicia singing from inside the 
shack. He smiles and then 
continues to write again. 


But I think I've reached the 
point now where I shall not 
analyze Alicia any longer. I 
shall accept her here simply 
as a part of my life— an 
integral part. 

He continues to write silently 
now, turning the page to 
continue on the other side, and 
then he stops, puts the book and 
pencil dowa rises, goes to the 
door and stands there looking at 
Alicia. She turns to smile at him 
and he enters the room. The 
is shooting at them through the 
open door and across the ledger 
book which lies face up. We 
hear Corry's voice. 


Because I'm not lonely any 
longer. Each day can now be 
lived with. 

(a pause) 

I love Alicia. Nothing else 




As hand in hand, Alicia and 
Corry race down toward the 
camera. He stops her abruptly 
and points to the sky. 


Alicia, look. That's the star, 
Betelgeuse. It's in the 
constellation ot Orion And 
there's the "Great Bear" with its 
pointer stars in line with the 
Northern Star, And there's the 
constellation Hercules. You see, 

He traces a path across the sky 
with his upraised hand and her 
eyes toliow it. Then he turns to 
look down at her tace upturned 
in the hall-light. 



God's beauty, 



That's right, Alicia. God's 

Suddenly the girl's eyes stop as 
they traverse the sky. She points. 


That star, Corry? What's that 


As he stares at something in the 


That's not a star. 'That's a ship, 

A ship? 

Very slowly there's a ray ot light 
that plays on both their laces 
and gets brighter and larger. 
Alicia moves closer to him. 


'There's no ship due here now, 
Corry. You said not lor another 
three months. You said alter 
the last time it wouldn't be lor 



It must be AUenby's ship. It's 
the only one that ever comes 
close. TTiey stop at other 
asteroids, then come here. 

(he looks away again, pensively) 
That means they'll probably 
be here in the morning, 
(another pause) 

I wonder why. 


(takes a lew steps toward him, 

Corry— what's it mean? 


(turns to her and smiles) 

In the morning . . . we'll find 
out. Come on, let's go back to 
the house. 



Three space-suited figures 
appear. AUenby's in the 
foreground. He suddenly stops 
and looks toward the camera as 
Corry steps in Iront ol it and into 
the frame. 


Hello, Corry. We wondered 
where you were. 


You have trouble? 


No, we had no trouble. 

He motions the others to follow 
him and they walk down the 
dune to stand close to Corry, 


This is a scheduled stop. 

We've got good news for you, 


(looks Irom lace to lace) 

I'm not interested. 

The others exhange looks ol 


You better hear what it is, 

You heard me, Allenby, I'm 
not interested. 


You will be. This I guarantee! 

Corry tak«s a lew backward 
steps looking paranoically Irom 
one to the other, 


Allenby, give me a break, will 
you? I don't want trouble. 


We don't either, 


(to one ol the others) 

He gets worse! It we'd come a 
month later he'd have been 
eating sand or something. 

Corry* now turns and starts to 
walk away irom them, 
occasionally looking over his 

(calls out to him) 



Fader and faster and is about to 
break into a dead run. 




Who now shouts. 

Twilight Zone 97 



He runs, crunching on the hard 
sand, to come up close to Corry, 
He grabs him, whirls him around. 


It's this way, Corry. All the 
sentences have been 
reviewed. They've given you 
a pardon. We're to take you 
back home on the ship. 

But we've got to take ott from 
here in exactly twenty 
minutes. We can't wait any 
longer. We've been dodging 
meteor storms all the way out. 
We're almost out ot fuel. Any 
longer than twenty minutes 
we'll have passed the point of 
departure and then I don't 
think we'd ever make it. 

Corry stares at him and then at 
the other men who have come 
down the dune behind him. 


His eyes dart about, going wide 
as the sense of what's been said 
to him seeps in. He tries to speak, 
but for a moment, nothing comes 


Wait a minute, Allenby. Wait 
just a minute. 

(he closes his eyes tightly, then 
opens them) 

What did you just say? What 
did you just say about a— 

(filling it in) 

A pardon, 


(coming up alongside) 

But it won't do any of us any 
98 Twilight Zone 

good unless you get your stuff 
together and get ready to 
move, Corry. We've picked up 
seven other men off asteroids 
and we've only got room for 
about fifteen pounds of stuff, so 
you'd better pick up what you 
need in a hurry and leave 
the rest of it behind. 

(then with a gria looking off in 
the direction of the shack) 

Such as it is. 


(struggling to keep his voice firm 
but already it begins to shake 
with joy and excitement) 

Stuff? My stuff? I don't even 
have fifteen pounds of stuff! 

He laughs uproaringly, turns, and 
again starts to walk toward the 


Corry's voice goes up and down 
in uncontrollable laughter, a 
combination of nerves, relief and 
almost unbearable excitement. 
The words spe'w out as he walks. 


I've got a shirt, a pencO and a 
ledger book. A pair of shoes, 
(then he throws back his head 
and laughs again) 

The car you can keep here. 
That'll be for the next poor 



There won't be any next poor 
devil. There won't any 
more exiles, Corry. This was 
the last time, 


Good! Wonderful! Thank God 
for that! 

They continue to walk again, 

We'll let it rest here then. The 
farthest auto graveyard in the 
universe! And Alicia and I will 
wave to it as we leave. We'll 
just look out of a porthole and 
throw it a kiss goodbye. The 
car, the shack, the salt lakes, 
the range. The whole works! 
Alicia and I will just— 

He stops abruptly, suddenly 
conscious of the silence and the 


As they stare at him. 


(his eyes narrow) 

Who? Who, Corry? 


His eyes close for a moment. 



Oh, my dear God, I forgot her! 


Corry's eyes move around from 
face to face. 



(and then accusative) 

Allenby, it's Alicia— 


(whispers under his breath to 

He's out of his mind, isn't he? 

Who's Alicia, Corry? 


(laughs uproariously) 

Who's Alicia? Adams, you 
idiot! Who's Alicia! You 
brought her! You brought her 
here in a box! She's a 

(and then he stops, looks away 
for a moment, softly, then looks 
toward Allenby) 

A robot. 

(and then once again looks at 

But closer to a woman. She's 
kept me alive, Allenby. 1 
swear to yiDU— if it weren't for 

He looks around again at the 
circle of silent faces that stare at 



What's the matter? Vou 
worried about Alicio? 

(he shakes his head) 

You needn't be. Alicia's 
harmless. I tell you she's like a 
woman. And she's gentle and 
kind and without her, AUenby, 
I tell you without her I'd have 
been finished. I'd have given 

(a long pause and then very 

You would have orrly had to 
come back to bury me! 


(to AUenby) 

That's what you wouldn't let us 
look at huh? The crate with 
the red tag— 

(to AUenby) 

Sorry, Captain but I had to let 
it out— 


That's aU right Corry. 'That's aU 
over with, but untorhrnately 
that's not the problem— 


(again with a high 
uncontroUable lough) 

Problem? There aren't any 
problems! There are no more 
problems left on heaven or 
earth! We'U pack up titteen 
pounds ol stuff and we'U climb 
in that ship of yours and 
when we get back to that 
beautiful green earth— 



(he whispers it) 

Fifteen pounds. 

(and then he shouts it) 

Fifteen pounds? 

(he looks from face to face 

You've got to have room for 
more than that. Throw out stuff. 
Throw out equipment. Alicia 
weighs more than fif :een 




That's the point, Corry. We're 
stripped now. We've got room 
for you and nothing else 
except that ledger of yours 
and the pencil. 

(he shakes his head) 

You'll have to leave the robot 



She's not just a robot, AUenby. 
You don't understand. You 
leave her behind— that's 


(shakes his head) 

I'm sorry, Corry— I don't have 
any choice— 


(backing away, his voice 

No, AUenby. You don't 
understand. You can't leave 
her behind. 

(and then he screams) 

Alicia, come here! 

(then he turns to them) 

You'U see, You'U see why you 
can't leave her behind. 

(then he shouts again) 



As Corry races toward the shack, 
foUowed by the others. 



As Corry smashes open the door 
and races inside only to find the 
room empty. He stands in the 
middle of the room looking 
around, and then over toward 
the door as AUenby enters 
foUowed by the other men. 


Where is she, Corry? 


I don't know. But when you 
see her you'll know why you 
can't leave her behind. 


Look, Corry. We just want you 
to get your gear packed and 
get out of here. 

(he looks at his watch, nervously 
to AUenby) 

We've only got about ten 
minutes. How about it. 




Come oa Corry. 


(backs further into the room) 

No! I'm not leaving, AUenby. I 
told you that, I can't leave. 


You don't understand. This is 
our iast trip here. This is 
anybody's last trip. This is off 
the route now. That means no 

suppUes, no nothing. 'That 
means if you stay here you 
die here. And that way, 
there'd be a day, Corry, when 
you'd pray for that death to 
come quicker than it's 
bargained for— 


(illogicaUy, half-wUdly) 

I can't help it AUenby. I can't 
leave her behind. And you 
won't take her. So that means 
I stay. 

(and then looking over his 
shoulder wUdly, he screams) 
AUcia! Come here, AUcia! Let 
them see you. Don't be 



Corry, listen to me. I sow this 
. . . this thing get crated, shoved 
into a box. 


(shakes his head) 

I don't care. 


She's a machine, Corry. She's 
a motor with wires and tubes 
and batteries. 



She's Or woman! 

AUenby wets his Ups, bites his Up 
for a moment standing there 
unsure, not knowing what to do. 
Through the window, outside in 
the yard, we see another 
member of the crew walk 
through the yard, pause near the 


Captain? Captain AUenby? 




Captain we've got just four 
minutes left We've got to take 
off! If we wait longer than that 
sir, we'U have moved to a 
point too far out I don't think 
we'U make it sir! 


(his voice frightened) 

How about it Captain AUenby, 
leave him here!_ 


We can't leave him here. Sick, 
mad, or haU-alive, we've got 
to bring him back. Those are 
the orders. 

He takes another step toward 
, ■ t Twilight Zone 99 

The Lonely 

Corry who backs against the 


Corry, now it isn't just you. 

Now it's all ot us. So that 
means we can't talk any 
more and we can't argue with 
you. We simply just have to 
take you! 

He makes a quick motion with 
one hand. Adams and Carstairs 
take a step into the room to » 
flank Allenby and to converge 
on Corry. Corry, with a kind ot 
animal shout, bulls his way past 
them pushing Adams out ot the 
way and bolts out ot the door. 



At the tigure ot Corry as he 
races, stumbling, tailing, picking 
himselt up again. His voice can 
be heard shouting over and over 
again. * 



Alicia! Alicia! 


The others in pursuit. 


As he suddenly appears at the 
top and stares dowa CAMERA 
S\A^EPS to the lett and down tor 
a shot ot Alicia standing alone 
down in the depression ot the 




Behind him Allenby and the 
others appear. Corry starts 
toward the girl. Carstairs tackles 
him, and then Adams pounces 
on him. They hold him tight as 
he shouts. 


Alicia, talk to them. Tell them 
you're a woman— 

Allenby takes a tew steps down 
the dune and stops haltway 
down. He looks back at Corry. 


I'm sorry, Corry. 1 don't have 
any choice. 

(a pause. His voice is quiet) 

I have no choice at all. 


As it unbuckles the gun holster 
on his belt. 


His eyes go wide. 



No, Allenby! No! She's a 
human being! 


Looking straight up at the dune 
at Allenby, who takes the gun 
out and tires directly into her 


As very slowly she crumples to 
the sand, blotting out the camera 


His lingers convulsively move 
away trom his face and tall to 
his side. He takes three slow steps 
down the dune toward the 
crumpled tigure. Then he looks 
down. PAN SHOT with his eyes to 
a close shot ot Alicia's hand 
clenched tightly. A farther PAN 
shot across her arm and 
shoulder to the back ot her 
head. Then a very SLOW PAN 
shot two or three teet across the 
ground to a shot ot the remnants 
ot a broken machine, twisted 
and bent wires, a cracked eye, a 
couple ot Iragments ot plastic, all 
the remains ot a face. 


With Corry in the toreground, A 
tew teet behind him is Allenby, 
and then on the dune are the 
others. Crewman comes into the 
trame in the background. 


It's got to be now. Captain 
Allenby ! 

(nods, sottly) 

It be now! 

(then he turns to Corry) 

Come on, Corry, It's time to go 

Now numbly, without directioa 
Corry allows himselt to be led up 
the dune and across the desert. 


As they walk. The light from the 
ship gets brighter and brighter as 
they approach it. 


For a moment. Corry looks back 
at the crumpled tigure in the 
distance, then again turns and 
begins to walk. 


As their teet crunch on the sand 
past the shed, the car and all 
the rest ot it. 

(alongside Corry) 

It's all behind you now, Corry. 
All behind you. Like a bad 
dream. A nightmare . . . and 
when you wake up you'll be 
on earth. You'll be home. 



That's right. 

(a long pause, putting his hand 
on Corry's arm) 

All you're leaving behind 
Corry, is loneliness. 


As the tears roll down his cheeks. 
His eyes move down to the sand 
by his teet and tor a moment his 
tace is impassive and immobile. 
He nods slowly. 


1 must remember to ... I must 
remember to keep that in 

Then he turns to walk ahead ot 
the others, 


As they pass the shack and then 
move away into the night 
toward the distant light that 
flickers on them beckons them 
away. The CAMERA PANS them 
and up into the starry night sky. 


Down below, on a microscopic 
piece ot sand that floats 
through space, is a tragment 
ot a man's lite, Lett to rust is 
the place he lived in and the 
machines he used. Without 
use they will disintegrate trom 
the wind and the sand and 
the years that act upon them. 
All ot Mr. Corry's machines . . . 
including the one made in his 
image, kept alive by love, but 
now . . . obsolete ... in the 
Twilight Zone! 



100 Twilight Zone 

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The bizarre . . . and beyond. 

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102 Twilight Zone